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I had an amateur radio license before I had a driver's license. Why did the DMV accept my amateur radio license as proof of address? It does have my address printed on it, but there was no verification whatsoever.

This was the procedure I followed for obtaining the ham license (this was pre-FCC license fee):

  • I took my Technician (entry-level amateur radio license) exam at a local ham radio club testing session. The VEs (Volunteer Examiners) had me fill out a form with my name, address, and social security number. I gave them my birth certificate and social security card, which they kept copies of. I wrote my address on the form, but they did nothing to verify it.
  • The VEs sumbitted my information, including my address, to the FCC.
  • The FCC issued my license and added it to their public database. My address is included in the public record.
  • I logged into my account on the FCC database (I don't remember the procedure) and downloaded a PDF of my license. This PDF, again, includes my address.
  • I printed the PDF, cut out the wallet size card, glued the front and back together, and signed it.
  • Along with some other documents (at least one magazine, and maybe something else; I'm not sure), I showed the copy of my ham license to a DMV employee as part of proof of address.
  • The DMV issued my driver license.

Why did the DMV accept the address from my ham license, when the address was completely unverified? I could have easily given a fake address to the VEs, and I doubt anyone would notice unless they tried to contact me at that address and I didn't answer.

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The documents that the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles accepts as proof of residence include

  • Any item delivered by the United States Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS sent by a verifiable business or government agency

or

  • Unexpired professional license issued by an agency in the U.S.

It is possible that the clerk at your DMV mistakenly believed your license from the FCC to be one of these two things.

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  • Does that invalidate my license?
    – Someone
    Jun 26 at 4:28
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    @Someone I don’t know. You should ask a lawyer. That’s the only advice I’m confident enough to give you.
    – Davislor
    Jun 26 at 4:28
  • Actually, I just remembered I had two acceptable documents as well as the ham license, so it shouldn't matter that the ham license wasn't actually acceptable.
    – Someone
    Jun 26 at 4:30
  • @Someone I could not tell you whether it actually was. But that sounds correct to me.
    – Davislor
    Jun 26 at 4:30

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