Tennessee Revokes Navy Veteran’s Driver’s License, Saying He Is Not A Citizen

(NewsSpace.com) – Renewing one’s driver’s license is typically a painless ordeal as long as the paperwork is filed in time. However, for one US citizen—and naval veteran—the seemingly simple process turned into an outright nightmare overnight.

David O’Connor has lived in the United States for more than 70 years. He was born in Canada, but his parents were US citizens, which automatically grants him citizenship. However, Tennessee officials don’t see it that way. When O’Connor went to renew and update his license to a Real ID in June, he presented his Canadian birth certificate, a process he’s done numerous times in several states, including Tennessee. This time, however, officials denied that he was a citizen and not only refused to renew his license but canceled it altogether.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates tried to get to the bottom of the matter, and listened to O’Connor and his wife, Jean O’Connor, tell the story of how the state no longer considers him a citizen, despite the fact that he’s lived here for seven decades, that his parents were US citizens, and that he collects social security. Driver Service Center employees cited a 2018 law that notes that if you’re not a US citizen, you cannot get a TN license, even if you hold one in another state.

Making matters worse, O’Connor held a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and revered driving his truck, something he can no longer do. He also cannot fly or vote until the matter is resolved. He’s already had to cancel plane tickets and have his son drive him to visit family.

Jennifer Kraus from News Channel 5 tried to help the elderly man by speaking to the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Jeff Long, but that basically went nowhere. So now, O’Connor is stuck without a license because of a bizarre set of circumstances playing out. It’s not clear if he will ever get his license back because he was directed to file paperwork to become a US citizen, a process that could take more years than he has left on this planet.

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