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Lakewood man with common name said he's forced to deal with "red tape" at BMV

Posted at 5:18 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 17:47:04-04

James Williams knew he had a common name, but he never expected what happened to him at the North Olmsted Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

“My name, my birthdate, and they have no other information on me at all, and then I have to turn around and prove who I am to them,” Williams said.

Williams said he was told by the BMV that he couldn't renew his driver's license because a James Williams with the same birthdate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was blocked from getting a license.

That means James Williams from Lakewood has to jump through hoops to be able to get his license renewed.

“Birth certificate, social security card, and two forms of mail that I get here at home,” Williams said. 

News Channel 5’s Paul Kiska checked with the Ohio BMV and found out if there's a block in the national system from another state with the same name and date of birth, a discrepancy letter from that state is required stating that you are not that person.

It’s an extra hurdle this James Williams never saw coming.

“I should just be able to renew my drivers license, I have done nothing wrong, I don't see why I should have to prove anything to anyone,” Williams said.

But, according to the BMV he does and that means every James Williams in the United States with the same birthdate has to go through the same process to get their driver's license renewed.