Lesbian couple ''humiliated'' by DMV experience | News
St. Petersburg, Florida -- A pair of Tampa Bay area newlyweds say they're furious and humiliated by their experience inside a Pinellas County DMV.
The lesbian couple says as they tried to get names changed on their driver's licenses, they were lied to by several employees, and then ultimately denied.
Rachel and Charlotte Lambert-Jolley say it started with Rachel's mom calling the DMV to find out if a same-sex couple would be allowed to get a new ID.
"He said pretty much, 'If they have a valid marriage license, we honor it,'" Rachel said.
Armed with all their documentation -- including a marriage license from Connecticut and updated social security cards with the new, hyphenated names -- they went to the DMV in Pinellas Park off 62nd Avenue North.
They say the first person they talked to told them they had everything necessary. After waiting about an hour, a second person told them they couldn't do it, because the same-sex marriage license isn't recognized in Florida.
"You are five feet away from the people in the DMV and everyone starts whispering and talking," Charlotte explained, "it was uncomfortable."
"To have multiple people tell you, 'It's fine, it's fine,' [then] you go in there and think you are good, then boom! It's a slap in the face, pretty much," Rachel said.
Florida DMV spokesperson Ann Howard says because the marriage license isn't accepted, gay couples need additional documents, including a social security card and a passport, or a court order to get their names changed on a driver's license.
Howard says she isn't sure why an employee would say otherwise. She points out without knowing the names of the employees the couple spoke with, it's impossible to tell where an error may have been made.
"The possibility does exist that it may not have been explained to them that it was a same-sex marriage from out of state," she told 10 News.
The newlyweds, though, say it was made perfectly clear.
"People shouldn't be put in the position to feel how we felt," Charlotte said.
But now they wonder how many other couples have been.
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