While at home I had to become a North Carolinian. Well, I think these labels identifying yourself are all artificial and distract you from who you really are. But, in order to change my address for my Danish bank to my parents’ address in North Carolina I had to register myself as a North Carolinian and get an ID card.
Such are the problems faced when you are a nomad..
Also, since we have a spectacular voting system – the envy of the 18th century – I had to register as a North Carolinian to vote. Voting in the U.S. is a very illogical, un-unified system of all 50 states doing their own thing, but basically you vote and someone in the Electoral College then votes representationally on your behalf.
But getting my ID turned out to be a bit of an experiment. Despite all the illegal immigration here, it’s actually somewhat difficult to prove you are a U.S. citizen. Since anyone born in the U.S. is automatically a citizen, a birth certificate is proof. But the license bureau always requires multiple forms of ID since, unlike pretty much everywhere else in the world, there is no national ID card here.
In the end, due to the move and fabulous disorganization, my social security card and birth certificate were both lost somewhere in the house, packed in some box or folder. Time was running out, so my last weekday in North Carolina, we scraped together what we could.
Instead of my social security card I found an old tax return and a FAFSA form from when I was a student at Ohio State University. Both had my social security number on it. I had my Ohio driver’s license as well, my passport, and a utility bill from my parents to show the new residence in North Carolina.
Apparently, when my parents applied for their new driver’s licenses the clerk gave them a hard time and challenged them on many fronts. In my case, the lady was extremely nice and I had no problem at all.
I know that many states have passed laws in the past few years making it more difficult to register to vote. I don’t know if North Carolina is one of them, but I had no problem.
So, I guess I’m a North Carolinian now. Does it feel any different? No. Because it really doesn’t matter. It’s just a label…
About Adam Pervez
In mid-2011 I left my cushy corporate job and took the plunge into a life incorporating my passions of traveling, writing, volunteering, learning, educating, and telling stories. I study what happiness means to others, offer what I can from my engineering/MBA background as a volunteer, and try to leave each place better than how I found it. Read more.