Olathe DMV turns away same sex couple trying to change name on driver’s license

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OLATHE, Kan. -- A same sex couple says they were turned away when they tried to change the name on their driver’s license.

It happened at the Great Plains Mall State Driver’s License office in Olathe, the same one that denied another couple who FOX 4 first featured back in July. But this time, there’s a happy ending.

April O’Brian wanted to changer her last name on her driver’s license to match her wife’s last name. She had to try twice at two different locations and was finally able to get it done here in Mission.

“This is proof of the best spent $16.40,” April said while holding up a receipt.

Paying was the easy part. April says the process of getting her driver’s license changed proved to be a bigger challenge.

“It puts a pretty big hole in your heart to be told you can’t carry the name of the person you give your heart to,” she said.

She married her wife, Antoinette, last year after a decade long romance that started in high school.

Wednesday, April wanted to change her last name to match her partner’s. She says she was told she couldn’t at the Driver’s License Office in Olathe.

“A couple of minutes later he came back and said ‘I’m sorry we can’t accept this certificate’ and we said ‘why?’ He said it needed to be a state copy and I said ‘it is a state copy,’” she recalled.

FOX 4 reached out the Kansas Department of Revenue, who says they are investigating the situation. The state started allowing same sex couples to change their names using marriage certificates on July 6. That was one of the documents April brought with her.

April tried again at another office in Mission, that time it worked.

“She comes back and big smiles. I ask if she’s going to take it and she says ‘yeah, it’s certified, it’s got the seal, state of Kansas. Of course we’re going to take it,’” April said with a smile.

She says the name change symbolizes the unity of marriage and family.

The Kansas department of Revenue says it strives to have the same outcome at every office and stressed their current policy: If presented with the right documentation, people should be able to change the name on their driver’s license.