After years of fighting, Hampton woman gets her driver's license


by Janet Roach

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:45 PM

NEWPORT NEWS -- There is a happy ending for a Hampton woman who tried for four years to get a Virginia driver's license.  

Lenora Baggesen has never had a birth certificate. She was born 55 years ago on an Indian reservation in Olean, New York, delivered by her great-grandmother.

It was never a problem until she moved to Hampton from Florida and couldn't get a license. Each time she went to DMV, she was told her documents were not sufficient to verify her identification.

Usually, customers are required to show two forms of ID, including proof of legal presence.

"I took in my marriage license, took in my original Social Security card, which I had in my wallet. I took in tax papers, my W-2's," explained Baggesen.

We contacted the state DMV and were told about a special work unit set up to help people in Baggesen's situation -- a group working with people who don't have a birth certificate.

"In almost all cases, we successfully issue the person a license," stated DMV spokesperson Melanie Stokes.

Stokes promised Baggesen would get help and, after a few days, she received an email that she'd been approved for license.  All she had to do was take her social security card, W-2 and her Florida driver's license, which she was able to recently renew, to the Denbigh DMV.

"I got everything filled out and done and in less than 20 minutes and I had my license," said Baggenson.

She has a temporary license and should get a permanent one in ten days.

She's says she's relieved and thankful.

"Channel 13 News and the Troubleshooter - if it wasn't for them, I know I would still be fighting the DMV," she said.