To board an airplane, however, McLaurin needs to replace a long-lost government-issued photo ID.
To get a D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles non-drivers’ photo ID, she needs a birth certificate from South Carolina, where she was born. To get the birth certificate, she needs the photo ID. A classic bureaucratic Catch-22.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get that face card,” McLaurin told me during a recent visit to her apartment in Northwest Washington. “I was birthed by a midwife and the birthday put in a Bible somewhere. I don’t know if they even had birth certificates back then.”