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Couple’s marriage license stalls because clerk thinks New Mexico is a foreign country

Gavin Clarkson

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A District of Columbia clerk refused to accept a New Mexico man’s state driver’s license for a marriage license because she and her supervisor believed New Mexico was a foreign country.

Gavin Clarkson told the Las Cruces Sun-News it happened Nov. 20 at the District of Columbia Courts Marriage Bureau as he tried to apply for a marriage license.

Clarkson says the clerk told him he needed an international passport to get the marriage license.

The clerk finally concluded New Mexico was a state after Clarkson objected three times and granted the license to Clarkson and his fiancee.

The D.C. courts system acknowledged the staff error to the Sun-News:

“We understand that a clerk in our Marriage Bureau made a mistake regarding New Mexico’s 106-year history as a state,” said Leah H. Gurowitz, director of media and public relations for D.C. Courts, in an email. “We very much regret the error and the slight delay it caused a New Mexico resident in applying for a DC marriage license.”

New Mexico was admitted into the U.S. as a state in 1912.