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Lesbian Refused License Name Change

Lesbian Refused License Name Change


Authorities denied a new driver's license to a Tennessee woman who recently married her partner and wanted identification with her new legal name.

Traci Turpin, a Knoxville woman, married her partner in Washington, D.C., and returned to Tennessee to change her name on her driver's license and other legal documents. The Social Security office changed her name, but the Department of Motor Vehicles would not honor the name change.

Initially, the DMV gave Turpin a new license, but employees stopped her as she was leaving to tell her they would need it back, according to WUSA News.

DMV employees called the police when Turpin would not return the license. She argued that her license was different from her Social Security card and that she was only hassled because of her sexual orientation.

Eventually, she gave the license to the police.

Tennessee state law requires a legal document verifying the reason for a name change on a license. The state does not honor Turpin's marriage license as the necessary document because gay marriage is not legal there.

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