I recently received one of the greatest gifts anyone could receive: the ability to prove who I am. After years of living without a valid ID, finally having this little piece of plastic has brought me more joy than I could ever express. But let me try…
In 2018, I needed to renew my driver’s license. If you have all your identification documents, this is usually a simple process. But, I didn’t have my birth certificate, so I requested to have it sent to me from Massachusetts. Imagine my surprise when I, Jennifer Diaz, received a birth certificate for Jennifer Torres.
“This is a mistake,” I thought. “I’ve never gone by this name.” So, I ordered another copy of my birth certificate. But when it arrived, the birth certificate still said Torres, my mother’s maiden name. And when I took all my documents to the tax collector’s office, I was unable to get a license because the last name on my other documents didn’t match my birth certificate. That’s when life became even more complicated and difficult.
As a mother of four, not having valid ID made everything 1,000 times harder. I couldn’t get into my bank account. I couldn’t use my health insurance. Getting the kids to and from school without a license was a whole dilemma. Basically, getting anything done was more difficult without an ID.
After several years of struggling to hold my family together, a friend told me about IDignity. With the help of IDignity’s team, a judge granted me a legal name change and I now have a valid Florida driver’s license in my name, Jennifer Diaz.
Knowing who you are is one thing. Being able to prove who you are is totally different.
Now that I have my ID, I visit my doctor without any hangups. I go to the bank with no problems. There are no questions when I pick up my kids from school. I feel free. And it’s all thanks to you!
IDignity would not exist, and I wouldn’t have my driver’s license, if it weren’t for the generosity of people like you. But there are still thousands in our community who are struggling to access their legal identification.
This holiday season, please consider donating to IDignity. Your gift can bring comfort and joy to families like mine, whose lives have been flipped upside down because they are unable to prove who they are.
Happy Holidays, from my family to yours!