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Martin Co. Recorder offers insight on stats

FAIRMONT — Martin County commissioners recently heard an update from County Recorder Diane Sanders regarding vital records.

Sanders noted that 359 passports were issued in 2019, and the issuance of birth and marriage certificates was way up, with people focused on obtaining enhanced driver’s licenses.

“In 2019, we had 168 births, 229 deaths and our marriage applications were at 99,” Sanders said. “Our numbers are very consistent from year to year.

“A lot of people are frustrated with that process (enhanced licenses) because of the documentation that’s required, and they’re going back to the license bureau five or six times. But they can come to our office and get a passport, and it’s just much easier and cheaper. That’s good for 10 years, not just five.”

Commissioner Steve Flohrs asked if people can forego Real ID if they have a passport. Sanders said that is true.

“Correct, and I don’t think the license bureau gives a lot of information,” she said. “You can get the regular driver’s license, then there’s the Real ID, which is for domestic air travel. Then there’s an enhanced driver’s license, which is good for domestic travel and allows you to cross the border, but no international air travel.

“So if you get the passport and book, you’re covered. It’s the ultimate document and you basically just have to prove citizenship. For the enhanced driver’s license, they require five different forms of documentation; you have to prove your residency and citizenship; for women who have been married and divorced several times, they have to have a document for every name change and that gets very expensive.”

Flohrs asked if a person still needs a passport to fly internationally even with an enhanced license. Sanders confirmed that as well. She said the passport card is popular for the purposes of flying domestically without having to have a Real ID.

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