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'Do You Have a New Mexico Passport?'

DC courts clerk wasn't sure that New Mexico was a state
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2018 3:59 PM CST
New Mexico state flags are raised in the New Mexico state Senate in Santa Fe.   (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

(Newser) – New Mexico is among the 50 states, everybody knows that. Well, everybody but a clerk and supervisor at the Washington DC Courts Marriage Bureau. Just ask Gavin Clarkson, a New Mexico resident who recently got a marriage license in the country’s capital (which is not a state). When Clarkson (whose now-wife Marina lives in DC) handed over his New Mexico driver license to prove his identity, the clerk refused it and instead requested an international passport, the Las Cruces Sun News reports. Clarkson protested, and the clerk checked with a supervisor.

“They come back and say ‘my supervisor says we cannot accept international driver's licenses. Do you have a New Mexico passport,’” Clarkson, a recent candidate for New Mexico secretary of state, recounts in a Facebook post. Clarkson says the clerk even complimented him on his command of the English language (though it’s his wife, who is from Argentina, who has a slight accent). About 20 minutes later, everything was sorted out and the clerk apologized. "We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico's 106-year history as a state," a DC courts rep told the Sun News. "We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a DC marriage license." (New Mexico tops the list of least politically active states.)

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