LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Gavin Clarkson, a recent candidate for New Mexico secretary of state, almost missed his wedding because the court clerk didn’t know all 50 states in the union.
Clarkson, who lives in Las Cruces, and his then-fiancée visited the District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau on Nov. 20 to apply for a marriage license.
But, once there, the couple encountered a small problem. The clerk wouldn’t accept Clarkson’s driver’s license — from New Mexico — as proof of his identity. Rather, the clerk, who mistakenly believed Clarkson was a foreign citizen — said he would have to provide an international passport to get the marriage license.
After Clarkson objected, the clerk went to check with a supervisor, who confirmed Clarkson would need a passport.
“You know you are from flyover country when you are applying for a marriage license, give them your New Mexico driver’s license, and they come back and say: ‘My supervisor says we cannot accept international driver’s licenses. Do you have a New Mexico passport?'” Clarkson posted on Facebook recently.
Clarkson, who has called New Mexico home since 2012, said he’s heard about the state’s residents experiencing such incidents when traveling, but “it was the first time it happened to me.”
The clerk finally concluded New Mexico was a state after Clarkson objected three times and granted the license to Clarkson and his fiancee.
The D.C. courts system acknowledged the staff error to the Sun-News.
New Mexico was admitted into the U.S. as a state in 1912.