A visit to the DMV is rarely a pleasant experience for anyone, but now, a Florida-based lesbian couple says they are humiliated by their driver's license application "nightmare."
Although newlyweds Rachel and Charlotte Lambert-Jolley say they were told they would be able to change their names in Florida with the appropriate documentation, authorities at a Pinellas County DMV ultimately rejected their request after an hour-long wait, Saint Petersburg 10 News is reporting.
"To have multiple people tell you, 'It's fine, it's fine,' [then] you go in there and think you are good, then boom! It's a slap in the face, pretty much," Rachel said. Added Charlotte: "People shouldn't be put in the position to feel how we felt," Charlotte said.
Though the Lambert-Jolleys came armed with the standard documents, including a marriage license from Connecticut and updated social security cards with their new, hyphenated names, DMV officials say additional materials, including a passport and a court order, are necessary for LGBT couples in Florida, where same-sex marriage is not recognized. "The out-of-state marriage certificate is a piece of paper that means nothing to the state of Florida," Ann Howard, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, told Patch. "The law is very clear. It doesn't recognize any document related to same-sex marriage, because it is not recognized under the Florida Constitution."
Rachel, who wed Charlotte in Connecticut and is now a reporter for Patch.com, also wrote candidly about her experience in a new op-ed. "As a gay married woman and resident of the area, I feel that there should not be such a gray area in dealing with a people's identities and their ability to conduct their life in a purposeful manner," she wrote. "The situation we were put in was distressing to the say the least –- and humiliating." (You can read her full story here.)
Watch the full report below: