In a rarity, a government agency's gaffe didn't do any lasting harm. But it sure made for a funny story.
Earlier this month, Gavin and Marina Clarkson were trying to apply for a marriage license in D.C., where Marina lives. But they ran into trouble when several employees forgot (or maybe didn't know in the first place) that New Mexico is a state, not a foreign country.
"You know you are from flyover country when you are applying for a marriage license, give them your New Mexico driver's license, and they come back and say 'my supervisor says we cannot accept international driver's licenses. Do you have a New Mexico passport?'" Gavin posted to Facebook on November 20. "They went back to a supervisor to check if New Mexico was a state ... TWICE!"
Gavin tells the Las Cruces Sun-News the staffers eventually admitted that New Mexico is a state and accepted his driver's license. But he was still a bit surprised. "All the couples behind us waiting in line were laughing," he tells the newspaper.
None of this was caught on video, but I like to imagine the staff's realization went something like this:
Lest readers think the Clarksons are making the whole thing up, a spokesperson for the D.C. court system confirmed that it happened. "We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico's 106-year history as a state," Leah H. Gurowitz, director of media and public relations for D.C. Courts, tells the News-Sun. "We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a DC marriage license."
The Hill notes that this is not the first time something like this has happened. According to a December 2017 letter from D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, some agents had trouble recognizing D.C. IDs that say "District of Columbia" rather than "Washington, D.C."
Photo Credit: Wikipedia