For the record, I was born in the Township of Pequannock in Morris County, New Jersey on June 9, 1966.
Several years ago, I got a routine mailing from the Social Security Administration. It listed my date of birth as September 6, 1966. Obviously somewhere along the line someone had made a data entry error and changed 6/9/66 to 9/6/66/ It didn’t seem like that big a deal.
Time went by and I decided I ought to have the problem corrected. I went to the local Social Security office and explained the problem. I handed them by passport as proof of my DOB but was told that wasn’t a valid form of identification. I gave them my driver’s license. No dice on that either. What they needed was my birth certificate.
I left frustrated.
Eventually I got a copy of my birth certificate from my parents.
Yesterday we filed our taxes electronically but it was kicked back because my date of birth didn’t match the date of birth the SSA had on record. Blah. Today I went back with my driver’s license, my passport AND my birth certificate. I sat and waited for my number to be called.
I went to the window and explained the problem. Yes, they agreed, a simple mistake had been made. But . . . The copy of my birth certificate was not official. No problem, I was told, New Jersey is a state that can be verified electronically. I waited. And waited. Sorry, they said, we can’t find you in the New Jersey system.
I pointed out that I had clearly been born and that no one had asked for my birth certificate when they changed my date of birth. They agreed that it all seemed odd but that there was nothing that can be done without a record of my birth (or, interestingly, of my baptism – so much for the separation of church and state).
They are going to work with New Jersey to find out if I am alive. I am going to work with my parents to see if I am alive and/or if my soul is saved. I am hoping that some combination of these things is true.