Monday, July 14, 2014

Efficiency and Exasperation

I don't know if the recruiters told my son and he didn't clue in until recently, or if they misinformed him, but we recently got word that when he reports in to enlist next week, he'll need an official copy of his birth certificate--his US passport isn't sufficient to prove his citizenship, even though we had to submit a birth certificate to get a passport!  But that's a different story.

I live in a suburb of the capital city; one would think it would be an easy thing to drive downtown to the state Department of Vital Statistics, request a copy of his birth certificate, and be done with it.  If only it were that easy!

See, the state doesn't have a walk-in, get-your-birth-certificate location.  No, if you want to order a birth certificate from the state, you submit a request and pay your fee and the certificate will be snail-mailed to you in a few weeks.  We don't have a few weeks, we have a few days.

I guess it's a good thing I'm not working right now.  The way to get a birth certificate while-you-wait is to go to the county of birth and get one there.

This morning I got up early and headed to Oakland, county seat of Alameda County.  It was 90+ minutes to Oakland, about 45 in the clerk-recorder's office, and 90+ minutes back.  I have a certified and embossed and pretty copy of his birth certificate now.

So what's my problem?  When I got to Oakland they said birth certificates were maintained digitally.  By the state.  No doubt on a server in Sacramento.  The clerk accessed the birth certificate online and printed it out on a laser printer a few feet away.

It was impossible for me to have this done in Sacramento County because my son wasn't born in Sacramento County.  If the records are maintained by the state, though, why does it matter in what county they're printed?

And there's my exasperation!


Mother said...

Yep, that's our State Government.

maxutils said...

It doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Your story explains everything that is wrong with California.

Darren said...

Sadly, it barely scratches the surface.