I went to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles recently to get my “Real ID ”-compliant license, thinking it would be a simple matter requiring only my old driver’s license. Foolish me.

Standing in line, I noticed the clerk asking questions about birth certificates. I turned to the people behind me in line to ask if I needed my birth certificate for Real ID and was told I needed either my birth certificate or my passport. I went back to the DMV with passport in hand, only to be told by the clerk that I also needed my Social Security card or W-2. I returned with my passport and 2017 income-tax return.

I was ready for anything, or so I thought.

When I got to the front of the line, I was told the driver’s-license system had crashed statewide. Granted, I should have checked the website before going, but I can’t imagine what most people in Virginia and other states with these ID requirements go through if they don’t have the time or resources that I do, as I am retired. People who think voter-ID requirements are simple and valid have no idea what they’re talking about.

Esther Petrilli-Massey, Alexandria