While the Navajo Nation and the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division have worked out how Navajo citizens can get or renew their driver’s licenses without providing a birth certificate, there are many other reasons delayed birth certificates are needed.
For Angeline Jimmie, from Little Water, New Mexico, a delayed birth certificate is just one step toward her end goal. Jimmie’s father, Frank Jimmie, is over 90 years old and living in a nursing home near Grants, New Mexico.
He doesn’t have access to his bank accounts and Angeline Jimmie has been trying unsuccessfully to transfer money from his account to the nursing home to help pay his bill.
“I had to deal with the bank,” Angeline said. “There is some money in there that I need to transfer to his account. So he can pay his bill at the nursing home.”
The bank told her, even though she has power of attorney, that she doesn’t have the legal right to transfer money from her father’s bank account.
“They told me I don’t have the authority,” Angeline said. “That I need his birth certificate in order to get guardianship. Kind of like step, step, step.”
So nearly four years, three denied applications and multiple trips to Santa Fe, Angeline Jimmie has yet to get her father’s delayed birth certificate.
“This is going to be the last resort,” Jimmie said. “If it don’t help me – forget it.”
Angeline Jimmie was at the pop-up location in Crownpoint where tribal and state entities came together to help community members get delayed birth certificates.
The pop-up locations are generally open for about two days. Their purpose is to make it easier for people to get their documentation because oftentimes getting it requires numerous trips to Santa Fe.
The small room was packed with elders and their family members last Thursday.