Dora Russo of Nanuet almost
missed her granddaughter’s wedding in Florida because she did not have the
required identification in order to board a plane flight. The 94-year-old Russo needed a non-driver’s
identification card to be able to fly but the New York State Department of
Motor Vehicles (DMV) refused to issue one because her original birth
certificate from 1919 did not include her first name.
Russo and her daughter Janet Rivera contacted the DMV several weeks before the flight to fill out the necessary paperwork. However, DMV declined to issue the ID because the birth certificate had never been corrected. With just two weeks before the wedding, the mother and daughter then approached Senator David Carlucci’s office for help.
Carlucci’s office took up the cause and called the New York City Department of Vital Records to obtain a new birth certificate and have the name discrepancy corrected. That department did not start keeping records until 1922 and did not have the original document. The next step was contacting Russo’s elementary school for her school records but found out the school no longer exists.
The senator’s office worked with Rivera to collect other forms of her mother's identification such as her social security card, utility bills and an expired license. Carlucci’s office lobbied the DMV to accept those materials and the agency agreed with the non-driver's ID being expedited and sent by overnight delivery to the anxious grandmother two days before her flight.
Russo greatly appreciated the senator’s efforts.
“Without his quick response, I would have missed her wedding and would have been extremely disappointed,” she said. “Instead, I have memories that will stay with me forever.”
Carlucci said he was proud to have been able to help Russo enjoy the once in a lifetime chance to attend her granddaughter’s wedding.
Carlucci said, “Residents should not have to jump through hoops every time they deal with State government, especially in a situation where a grandmother would have missed out on her granddaughter’s wedding.”
Rivera was also thankful.
“Mom had a great time at the wedding and we will be always be grateful to Senator Carlucci for creating this memory for our family,” she said.