July 25, 2024

Tennessee DMV Revokes Navy Veteran’s Driver’s License, Claims He Is Not American

An elderly Navy veteran of 77 years is facing unusual challenges at the DMV. Instead of the usual paperwork and long lines, he’s being told he’s not eligible for a driver’s license because he’s not a U.S. citizen.

David O’Connor, a former Navy member and long-time driver, recently encountered problems at the Tennessee DMV. Despite his years of service and citizenship, the DMV claimed he was not eligible for a driver’s license because of his non-U.S. citizenship status.

When applying for a Real I.D., which will be mandatory for domestic air travel, O’Connor provided all necessary documents, including his Canadian birth certificate. However, the DMV rejected his application, citing his non-citizenship.

O’Connor was born in Canada to American parents, making him a U.S. citizen by law. Despite this, the DMV refused to renew his license and demanded he file for citizenship, a process that could take years.

Despite proving his citizenship through voting, paying taxes, and having a social security number, O’Connor’s license was canceled. The DMV cited a 2018 Tennessee law that revoked non-citizens’ right to a driver’s license.

Desperate for a resolution, O’Connor contacted the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security for assistance. Unfortunately, no progress has been made, leaving O’Connor in limbo.

The DMV’s refusal to acknowledge O’Connor’s citizenship status has left him stranded without a license, hoping for a resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why was David O’Connor denied a driver’s license?

The DMV claimed O’Connor was not eligible for a driver’s license due to his non-U.S. citizenship status, despite being born to American parents.

2. What documents did O’Connor provide when applying for a Real I.D.?

O’Connor provided his Canadian birth certificate, proof of residency, and other required documents.

3. What is the process for O’Connor to regain his driver’s license?

The DMV demanded that O’Connor file for citizenship, a process that could take several years.


The case of David O’Connor highlights the challenges faced by individuals who are wrongly denied services based on their citizenship status. Despite being a U.S. citizen by law, O’Connor’s struggle to obtain a driver’s license serves as a reminder of the importance of fair and just practices in government agencies.

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