PLAINVIEW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The rush is on to get REAL ID drivers licenses, which will be required to board an airplane after Oct. 1.
But one Long Island woman told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff on Tuesday the new requirements for the REAL ID are onerous and inhumane. Her parents are holocaust survivors and she doesn’t have required records.READ MORE: PHOTOS: 74th Annual Tony Awards Red Carpet
For most, gathering the documents needed for the new license is hassle free, like a birth certificate, Social Security card and passport.
But for Laura Siegelman of Plainview, original documents with her name are impossible to find.
“My father was in Auschwitz and my mother managed to survive by fleeing from town to town,” Siegelman said.
Her parents were lucky to escape Nazi Germany with their lives.
“That was my life. That’s where I was born,” Siegelman said.
She was brought to the United States in 1948 as a toddler, issued a green card, and then teachers Americanized her name.
“From Laja to Laura. It was always Laura after that, documented right down the line,” Siegelman said.
Documents enabled her to work, to vote, to drive, and to become an American citizen. But now, post 9/11, the Department of Motor Vehicles says her original green card is not good enough.
“Oh no, this is too told. So my green card is old. Well, I’m old,”READ MORE: Activists Again Call For Getting Carriage Horses Off NYC Streets Following Injury
Her German birth certificate?
“She said, ‘This is in German. It doesn’t mean anything to me,'” Siegelman said. “I’ve been negated, erased.”
The Department of Homeland Security told Gusoff, “Those in the U.S. lawfully are able to get a REAL ID, although they may need to get certain documents updated or replaced.”
Siegelman isn’t the only only one who fled under dire circumstances and doesn’t have documents soon needed to fly. Assemblyman Charles Lavine is pressing for changes.
“People who don’t fit the cookie-cutter approach to having identification and names, so that they can be able to get the licenses that are going to be required. This is critically important,” Lavine said.
Those impacted can contact their elected officials. Laura Siegelman may apply for a new green card, or get a lawyer, with no guarantee of success.
“It’s very costly and the odds are they won’t accept our documents and they won’t allow an appeal if they reject us and won’t return our money,” Richard Siegelman said.
“I feel insulted, illegitimate suddenly,” Laura Siegelman added.
Shes asking for an in-person appeal process for Americans who can’t pull out documents from the ashes of war.
Travelers without a REAL ID can still use their passport to fly. Laura Siegelman never needed a passport and and now the requirements mirror those of a REAL ID.MORE NEWS: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
“We worked directly with Ms. Siegelman, including putting her in contact with the federal authorities to obtain the federal documentation she needs to help her resolve this as we do any customers encountering difficulties meeting the onerous requirements of the federal REAL ID law.”