Government workers told newlyweds that New Mexico is not a state and that they would need to provide an international passport to receive a marriage license in Washington, DC.
The groom, a New Mexican resident and a former Interior Department employee, said he and his wife were held up for 20 minutes after a court clerk and a supervisor claimed New Mexico was not a state.
“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?’ He said in a Facebook post. “They went back to a supervisor to check if New Mexico was a state… TWICE!”
In particular, the workers believed he was a foreign citizen and thus wouldn’t accept his “international” New Mexican driver’s license.
A DC court spokesperson confirmed the incident, stating that the clerk “made a mistake regarding New Mexico’s 106-year history as a state.”
“We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a DC marriage license,” she told reporters.
New Mexico was admitted as a state in 1912.
The story would have been stunning enough if it happened anywhere in the country, but the fact that it occurred in Washington, DC, which flyover residents often characterize as an out-of-touch bubble, makes it even more sensational.