2015 Press Releases

07.01.2015: Open Letter to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles Regarding Name Changes on Driver’s Licenses

NEW ORLEANS – The ACLU of Louisiana sent an open letter today to Louisiana OMV Commissioner Stephen Campbell, regarding OMV locations which have refused to honor name change requests from same-sex couples.

The letter reads as follows:

Mr. Stephen Campbell
Commissioner
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 64886
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

Dear Mr. Campbell:

This office has learned that some motor vehicle offices have refused to grant name changes to same-sex spouses seeking new driver’s licenses.  This letter is to advise you, and those working in motor vehicle offices across Louisiana, that your office must now treat all married couples equally, and must treat requests for name changes equally for all.

As you know, on June 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Obergefell v. Hodges, that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marry in all states.  While some Louisiana parishes have engaged in unwarranted delays in issuing new marriage licenses, the law is clear that couples who are already legally married must be treated as such immediately.  For purposes of obtaining new drivers’ licenses and for other benefits, the Supreme Court’s order was effective immediately, and must be honored.

This letter is to advise you that clerks across Louisiana must, in light of the Obergefell  decision, issue name changes for same-sex spouses in the same manner as they have always issued them for opposite-sex spouses, effective immediately.  Thank you for your cooperation with this important issue.

Sincerely,

Marjorie R. Esman
Executive Director

A copy of the letter may also be found here: http://laaclu.org/resources/2015/070115OpenLetter_OMV.pdf