Let the journey be shaped by the curiousity of the child…
This week we have been driving back and forth from Boulder to Longmont, to Denver.
Day 1: It all started with Dad doing his written text at the DMV. When the lady at the office wanted to put the results in the computer, she couldn’t. Dad’s name on his Social Security Card didn’t match with the name in his passport. Initially we thought it was because his father’s name was on the Social Security Card as well, as an extra last name. However, his father’s name is not on the birth certificate.
After going to the Social Security Office we found out that it wasn’t that easy to change his name on his Social Security Card. Although we brought our marriage registration and the birth certificates of our two boys. We had to go to obtain his birth certificate. Are we lucky to be in the Boulder Area, where he was born, and not somewhere in California. It would have been a drag. Going to the Department of Public Health and Environment in Boulder we found that office had been closed due to the floodings. We had to go to the office in Longmont. Since it was already 4 o’clock we decided to do that the next day.
Day 2: The next day we drove up to Longmont to the Department of Public Health and Environment. We felt lucky after being able to obtain his birth certificate. We went through so much trouble to get his birth certificate when we wanted to get married, also due to his last name.
With the birth certificate we went back to the Social Security Office in Boulder. Only to find out that they could not delete his father’s last name. Why not? His mother’s name was also spelled incorrectly. And again we had to go back to the Department of Public Health and Environment. So we went back to their office in Longmont, only to discover they are not authorized to make changes to birth certificates. They told us to go to Denver. Maybe we would be lucky and otherwise we had to go through court.
Day 3: All fresh after a good night rest we were on our way to the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. At all the other locations we had to wait for more than an hour but here it seemed like we were getting a break. We only had 3 people before us. And then the fire alarm went off. Fun though for Maxi- and Midiman.
We had to go outside and we saw two fire trucks arriving. Maxi- and Midiman were watching the whole process closely and Maximan asked a lot of questions. After everything was clear we could go inside again.
Dad was called to go up to the counter and the guy from the department first said we had to go through court to change his name. Then he looked a bit better and realized that the name of the mother was mispelled incorrectly on the birth certificate. That was something he could change and as a result it would change Dad’s name too. We couldn’t believe it. Did we finally get a break in the whole “last name” thing? It didn’t take the guy long to change everything and with a correct birth certificate we were on our way to the Social Security Office in Boulder.
At the office in Boulder we had to wait again for over an hour. But finally we were able to correct the mistake that had been made 30 years ago. His father’s name was deleted and his mother’s name was adjusted.
Day 4: The correction would need 24-48 hours to get into effect. So we went back to the DMV on Friday. Only to find out that there was no spot available for the driver’s test soon. Which we had to cancel earlier this week. We were referred to a third party. The new appointment will be next week and the results of the written tests still have to be registered. So it feels like it isn’t over yet.
What truly happened all those years ago, we can’t tell. Dad’s parents never got married, that is way Dad is carrying his mother’s name. On the birth certificate it only states his mother’s name as his last name and it states both his parents as his parents. However, his mother’s name was misspelled. Could be an honest mistake between “y” and “ij”. We don’t know. Anyway it was different from the spelling on his passport. The big issue arose with the application for Dad’s social security number. The one who filed the application wrote down the name of Dad’s mother AND Dad’s father. Giving Dad a double last name, which was not on the birth certificate. To make things worse, on the Dutch records there is no trace of Dad having a father recognized. So we couldn’t file his birth certificate in The Hague years before.
All of this has finally been corrected.
First of all, make sure that the spelling of the name(s) is correct. Think of the birth certificate, social security card, ID and passport.
Second of all, use the same name for your child on every document.
If there has been a mistake made. Try to change it as soon as possible.