Needed a new Social Security Card. After four trips to the SS office to bring them additional info (they always asked for something more), I was told they had everything they needed. Two months later, got a letter saying they could not verify my birth certificate with the state of California (I had brought SS the original). SS told me I had to deal with the state of California to clear up what ever problem there was. The State of California said I had to send in an application and money and they would do a search. Since I changed my name legally at one time, I have to do two searches. This will take 18 weeks and may not return any results. If they do not find anything, the give me a certificate that says they did not find anything. After that, what? I asked SS why they could not use my passport to prove my citizenship since it was issued by the US government but they said it is not valid for proving my birth. If I needed social security right now, I would be screwed. And it I stopped paying Social Security, I would be subject to criminal prosecution. By the way, I managed to get Medicare Card after five tries with the same set of information for the people at the same Social Security office.
Avram, your story reminds me of my situation. I was “adopted” at birth (UC Med Center, SF)but it was never done legally. I didn’t get a birth certificate until I was 16, living in Marin County at the time. I cannot imagine what would happen if I needed a new SS card. Even though I was granted a Top Secret security clearance while in the US Army.
Just consider the problems people will have if we ever go to a national ID card.
Thanks for sharing. It’s funny but a bit scary.
A russian friend told me once that whenever he misses Russia he goes to visit the DMV.