I needed a copy of my birth certificate from Oklahoma to get mine and Craig's publishing company (Okie Acres Music) registered with the royalty collection services for Ireland and England.
I used a Vital Records search service to speed up the process. (Costs about $40) Remember that term (speed up). Well all seemed to be going well until they hit a snag. They mailed me a letter saying that my name on my birth certificate was spelled (Lonny) and not Lonnie as I said it was so I would need to send them an Elementary School Record showing that I actually used the Lonnie spelling (Tennessee Drivers License would not work) in the early years of my life. I would also need to send them an additional $25 for all of their extra trouble to change those 2 letter in my first name. That didn't seem like a big deal as I have become quite the expert over the years at dealing with government workers and wading through red tape. I mailed them a $25 check.
I promptly called the Pushmataha County Courthouse and when the secretary found out my last name was Ratliff she had to inform me that she knew my Mom and Sister and wanted to know what the heck I had been up to for the last 40 years. When I got her back to the business of trying to get a copy of my school enrollment records so I could then be known as Lonnie legally she said no problem that was easy. They kept all those school records since Oklahoma became a state in 1907. I asked her how much to get a copy and she then went through the process of explaining it was free because a Pushmataha County tax paid for copies of the records. I said great can I get a copy. This was in the middle of the summer, she said they would make me a FREE COPY paid for by the taxpayers and mail it to me as soon as Summer Vacation was over and school started back and the person who had the keys to the school records came back to work. That would be about 5 or six more weeks since they were in the middle of school vacation so nothing to do but wait.
When vacation was over and school started back they mailed me a free (taxpayer paid for) copy of my school enrollment record which I then mailed to the Vital Records company who was speeding up the process for me. Then I waited and waited. Finally I got a letter from Vital Records that informed me after closer investigation they noticed that the corrections to my name had been made about 20 years earlier (I am guessing when I had to get a copy so I could get a Passport I fixed it then). Anyway the said don't worry about the $25 I had sent them they were not gonna charge me. I had been watching my bank accout and the $25 check I wrote them had never come through and been debited to my account. They said my Birth Certificate was being overnighted to me and thanks for my business. In about 5 days Fed Ex delivered my overnight rushed Birth Certificate. I checked the date on the first check for $40 I sent them to start the deal and it had taken 6 months & one week to complete the process.
Today, about a month since I got my Birth Certificate, I got a refund check from the Oklahoma State Dept. for $25 for my Vital Records sevices. It says cash immediately not valid after 90 days. I guess they must think everyone works at the same pace they do.
For those who followed along closely you have probably noticed they refunded a check they never cashed. Right now I am trying to figure out should I cash it or would it be worth $25 in pure fun to try to get them to take this check back and return my original $25 uncashed check. HA!
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