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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SS# settlement hasn't completely sunk in at Hennepin

As we have blogged about here before, on July 2 Hennepin County did away with a controversial requirement that applicants for marriage licenses provide a Social Security number. The policy caused problems for immigrants who wanted to marry, and resulted in the lawsuit that served as the impetus for the policy change.

We were notified by an astute reader the other day that an immigration lawyer’s clients had been turned away in Hennepin County because they couldn't provide a Social Security number on their marriage license application. The couple had been unsuccessful in procuring the license at both the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis and the county's Brooklyn Center site.

We were naturally surprised to hear this, given that the county was not supposed to be requiring Social Security numbers any more. So we placed a call to county auditor Jill Alverson to ask her what gives. She promptly returned our call, leaving us the following voicemail:

“We were aware of the one incident at the Government Center. When we became aware of that, we did contact the staff and correct that. The people did come back, and we were able to process their marriage license application. We were not aware of the incident at the Brooklyn Center site. So we will be following up on that. The policy and procedures were changed effective July 2. We have over 180 staff working at our service centers across the county, so I think it's just a matter of time. … We are getting the word out.”

Thanks to Ms. Alverson for getting right on top of this important issue. If anyone else’s client experiences any similar problems with getting a marriage license, you can contact her at the Taxpayer Services Department at (612) 348-3011.

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