Author Topic: Real IDs and Name Issues  (Read 1009 times)

sui generis

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Real IDs and Name Issues
« on: October 09, 2019, 02:22:54 PM »
So I'm afraid to get a Real ID and on the off chance anyone has a similar situation or has some helpful knowledge, I need some advice.

My name is Margaret.  Well, it's not, but let's say it is for these purposes.  And, I've always always gone by Peggy.  Only my mom and dad call me Margaret when they are mad at me.  So when I was 14 or 15 and went to get my first CA State ID, I got it under the name Peggy.  Don't ask me how, since my birth certificate and SS card say Margaret.  And over the course of my life, I've used the name Peggy for every single account I've ever started.  Every bank account, every brokerage, 401(k), and pension account.  All my insurance and utilities and...well you get it.

So, we need Real IDs to fly starting in about a year.  This isn't too big a problem, as I have a passport which IS under the name Margaret (so weird!) and I just used that to fly domestically last weekend - my United FF program is under Margaret, since I usually (sadly) fly them internationally.  But even if I do that, I'm afraid I'll be *forced* to get a Real ID Drivers License the next time mine comes up for renewal.  And then I will never again have an ID that matches all of my many accounts...which seems like a concern. And gods help me if I can remember each account accrued over the course of nearly 4 decades and go through the mountain of paperwork I assume will be required to change my name from Peggy to Margaret on each one of them.

So, informed views, wild ass guesses and strong opinions welcome.  Am I right to be worried?  Will these accounts, someday if I need to prove my identity, refuse me if my account name is Peggy and the only valid ID I have anymore is under Margaret?  Would you undertake the Herculean task of changing every single one or rest secure in the fact that Margaret and Peggy are the same name and no one should have a problem with this as long as the SSN matches?

lhamo

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2019, 02:28:59 PM »
I don't think they can FORCE you to get an enhanced driver's license at this point -- they are more expensive and not everybody needs them.  Mine Washington state driver's license is up for renewal next month and I have the OPTION of getting the enhanced version, but I'm probably not going to bother because I always will have a passport anyway so I don't see the value in paying more for something that is of limited utility.

Also, FWIW, both DH and DS did a legal name change a few years ago (DH wanted to change the spelling of his last name - whatever...) and it wasn't that hard to change the name on his accounts once we had the notarized documents, just time consuming.   You don't have to do it all at once -- change one account a month or something until you get through all of them.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 02:40:05 PM »
I just got a CA REAL ID at DMV. I concur, you cant be forced to get it. You can always opt for the traditional CA license, albeit with the new federal restrictions.

secondcor521

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 05:08:37 PM »
You may consider name changing the other direction - change your legal name from Margaret to Peggy.  Then all you'd have to do is change your passport, not the million accounts, which will already (ta da!) match your new legal name.  Your passport was going to expire at some point anyway, and I'm sure the passport folks can figure out a way to issue you one as Peggy Smith or whatever.

Cranky

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2019, 05:51:37 PM »
I similarly have a legal name that no one has actually called me since I was 16yo. However, Iíve kept all my account names in line with that legal name, and itís on my ID.

Pre- 9/11, no one ever blinked at this. Indeed, up to that point, I used the birth certificate my parents were given at the hospital, the one with my little footprint on it, for all official purposes and I was pretty surprised to learn that that wasnít actually my official birth certificate. (Which was especially odd because that one is unique to me, and the certified official one was not that hard to get.)

So I have been increasingly careful to keep my documentation sorted out. I applied for a passport this year and had to straighten out a couple of things along the way, and my personal recommendation would be that you switch your account names to your legal name, or else go ahead and legally change your name. I think itís only going to get tougher if everything doesnít line up, especially with social security.

Sibley

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 10:42:17 AM »
Keeping with the Margaret and Peggy theme:

Legal name is Margaret
Accounts, etc are generally Margaret, though retail type ones are more likely Peggy
Signatures on everything (except mortgage documents for some strange reason) - Peggy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 12:12:10 PM »
Keeping with the Margaret and Peggy theme:

Legal name is Margaret
Accounts, etc are generally Margaret, though retail type ones are more likely Peggy
Signatures on everything (except mortgage documents for some strange reason) - Peggy.


My dad has used his middle name to sign up for contests and dodgy looking things for his entire life.  This way when the mail comes to the house he looks for all the middle name / last name addressed and throws it straight into the trash.  :P

DaMa

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 12:13:51 PM »
If you have a passport, you don't need the Real ID.  I don't use my drivers license in the airport.

I would also suggest changing your legal name to Peggy.  It would be much easier to just change the passport.  I have a friend who changed her first name.  Here's was a man's names she never liked.  She changed it to a female version.  Your explanation should be enough to get court approval.  It costs about $250 in my county.

ABC123

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 02:31:33 PM »
I think a lot of people would not equate Peggy to Margaret.  Marge, or Maggie maybe, but especially younger folks I wouldn't necessarily expect them to know.  Now if it was Christine, and you went by Chris or Christy, then sure.  Jen for Jennifer.  Those are more obvious.  But as time goes on, I wouldn't be surprised if you got some questions on having a Peggy ID if your name is Margaret.

trollwithamustache

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 02:51:46 PM »
As you noted, you can always travel domestically with a passport.  I've gotten other federal IDs, like a transportation Worker identity card and they always ask you for your aliases and nicknames. It might take longer to sort out and get the real ID issued.

My dad has the opposite problem... think immigrant family, the kid legally named Pat... so the bank corrects it to Patrick kind of thing. mish mash across Id's, SS cards, accounts and deeds to property...  He tried to correct it all but no one believes him that his name isn't "pat".

its hard to get it all changed, but I would think you want to get all the major accounts to match your real ID prior to getting it. If you do it before Real ID, you will always have an ID for either Peggy or Margaret as needed.

Lichen

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2019, 05:02:04 PM »
There's more to worry about than the Real ID. Pick one name and change everything to it before you reach retirement age. My birth certificate has the long version of my name, my SSN card is and always was tied to the short version. All my important stuff including bank accounts are in the short name, except for my DL which the state put in the name as it was on my BC. Reason for the name confusion, according to mother, is because the nurse that filled out the certificate form at the hospital back in the 70s insisted on "full Christian names." Not a big deal, but my dad had a similar issue with one name on one thing and another version of the name on something else. When he went to file for social security retirement, they wouldn't let him until he jumped through a million hoops to prove that both versions of his name were his. Needless to say, I had an official name change to the short version on my SSN card done promptly and hopefully this will prevent me from having the same issue.

feelingroovy

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2019, 08:07:24 PM »
Legally change your name to Peggy. You may have already done so.

I did a legal name change in CA. This was 20 years ago so this may have changed. So look up the law.

The law in CA is that there are two ways to legally change your name:

1. Go before a judge, yada yada.
2. Use the new name consistently.

I did #2. I started at the DMV and just filled out the name change form.

Took my new license to the social security office. No problem. Got a new card with my number.

Sent my old and new social security cards to the passport office along with my old passport along with a letter. Received new passport.

So easy. California rocks.



BicycleB

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Re: Real IDs and Name Issues
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2019, 11:15:54 AM »
PTF anonymously so I can keep my real name straight...