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Name changes lead to headaches in obtaining new ID card

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Name changes lead to headaches in obtaining new ID card

By Michael Lopardi. CREATED Aug 20, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles can lead to a lot of headaches if you don't have the proper documents.

A Las Vegas woman learned that lesson the hard way after she tried to obtain a new Nevada state identification card.

Patricia Grande divorced in 2002. Recently, she moved to Las Vegas and remarried. Grande has been through two changes to her last name as a result of the marriages.

"I have to have photo ID for some things," Grande said. 

She went to the DMV with her birth certificate only to learn she needed a copy of her marriage certificate. Then the DMV wanted proof of her divorce.

"I went to the Social Security office and all I needed was my medical card and my marriage certificate and I was able to change it from my old name to my new name," Grande said.

After at least three trips to the DMV, Grande got frustrated and emailed Action News. She wants others to learn from her experience.

"One day we're in there like four hours until near closing time," Grande said.

Action News turned to the Nevada DMV for some answers.

The agency requires a birth certificate and Social Security card for a state ID or driver's license, said DMV spokesman Kevin Malone.

If you have been married or divorced multiple times, the DMV requires a certified copy of a marriage license or divorce decree for each time you change your name, Malone said.

"We need to know who you are," Malone said.

The tougher requirements went into effect in 2004. Malone said the state wanted to beef up security rules after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and reduce identity theft.

"Establishing your proof of identity is an important thing because a driver's license is the more reliable proof of identity for most people," Malone said.

Grande doesn't have her new ID yet. She's waiting on a certified copy of her divorce decree.

"Know what you need before you get there," Grande said.

The DMV posts the required documents on its website but we asked them to take another look and see if it needs to be made more clear for people with multiple name changes.

Malone said the identification requirements are the same for an ID or a driver's license. The Nevada DMV processed roughly 13,000 name changes last year, he said.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

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Michael Lopardi is the featured reporter of the You Ask. We Investigate. franchise at Action News.