My brother received his Enhanced New York State driver's licence and his name is not displayed properly- (First name is where Last name should be - Middle name where First name should be and Last name where Middle name should be. There is a comma separating Middle and Last names however).

Is this document valid for entry into Canada and back into the United States, or must it be corrected to be valid? Checked with New York State D M V, but they could not furnish a definite answer. I could not contact either the U S or Canadian border Patrols for any clarification. We are traveling this coming Friday.

  • 2
    You mean something like this? Billy Bob Jones -> Bob Jones, Billy? Apr 14 '17 at 23:39
  • 4
    Is this the same license that you cancelled? Or are these two separate, but closely related, problems, one for you and one for your brother? Apr 15 '17 at 0:24
  • 2
    When you say "should be" are you taking into account the fact that NY licenses show names as LAST on the line above FIRST, MIDDLE (in other words, does your license say FIRST on the line above MIDDLE, LAST? I suppose the names are also in that order in the machine readable zone on the back; are they?
    – phoog
    Apr 15 '17 at 2:53
  • 1
    Separate, but closely related. Should read Jones on first line then Billy,Bob on second line. License reads Billy on first line then Bob,Jones on second line.
    – Ed Schmitt
    Apr 15 '17 at 2:57
  • Yes I am. However his has the first name where the last name should be, his middle name where his first name should be and his last name where his middle name should be. It is most likely that the application was not filled out correctly, and the clerk at the DMV copied what was on it, (and no one caught the error) until the permanent license arrived. And that is how the names are in the readable zone on the back.
    – Ed Schmitt
    Apr 15 '17 at 3:14

Please see my answer to your other question. In general, Canada admits US citizens with any proof of identity and citizenship. This should include an enhanced license with a clerical error.

In fact, when your brother shows the license, they may not even notice that the name is reversed. But, if they do, he may want to be prepared with independent photographic proof of identity, if he has it, as well as his birth certificate.

To get back into the US, as noted in the other answer, he is nominally supposed to have one of several documents specified by the WHTI. But in fact US citizens have a fundamental right to enter the country, so if he can prove his US citizenship by any means, such as a birth certificate, then CBP has to let him in. "Any means" may well also include an enhanced driver's license with a clerical error. The only caveat is that entry without a WHTI-specified document could take longer. Your brother should be prepared for the possibility that he will have to spend some time in secondary inspection as CBP considers his evidence of US citizenship.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.