Story of my Grandfather’s name change

My family is full of some pretty interesting characters, my grandpa is actually the most normal of us all, which is why I found the story of how he changed his name to be so shocking. My grandpa is a baby boomer and this story takes place when he was in his teens in Texas.

When my grandpa was sixteen he lost his driver’s license and was told he couldn’t get another one until after he turned eighteen. My grandma wasn’t sure why exactly he lost his license but it was after he got into a really bad car accident so she thinks that might have been the reason. (Sorry this part isn’t clearer, it’s the one detail my grandma couldn’t remember since it’s been so long).

My grandpa didn’t want to get caught driving without a license but there was no way he was going to give up driving until he was an adult, so he and his friends came up with a plan.  At this point in time records were kept a little differently than today, making it much easier to alter them. My grandpa and one of his friends drove into the town next to the one they lived in and went to that DMV where he got a license under a different name.

When he put his name on the form he simply changed the spelling of his first name slightly, effectively creating a loophole and obtaining a new license.

The craziest part of this story? He forgot all about this  until he was in his sixties. It wasn’t until he was about 61 years old that he remembered that his name wasn’t the one on his license. My grandma did try to help him fix this but somehow there was another mix up and it stayed the same, so now my grandpa has spent the majority of his life going by a name with the wrong spelling, a name that gives him a different identity .

I doubt anyone today would have such an easy time doing this, the fact that he could do this back then is still pretty surprising and almost unbelievable.

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