The Legal Beat
Law Student Accidentally Gets New Driver’s License With Photo Of Her Wearing A Face Mask
Posted on Wednesday February 24, 2021
File this one under pandemic problems: A third-year law student is grabbing headlines across the country because she was wearing her face mask when a DMV employee snapped her picture for her new driver’s license — and that’s how the license was ultimately issued. Oopsie!
Meet Lesley Pilgrim, who’s due to graduate from Chapman University School of Law later this spring. Pilgrim visited the DMV earlier this month to obtain a REAL ID, and after an hours-long wait, it was finally her turn to get her picture taken. No one ever told her to remove her mask, and before she had the opportunity to speak, the deed had already been done. Once the DMV staffer realized what happened, he retook Pilgrim’s picture — this time, without her mask — but it was already too late.
About a week or so later, Pilgrim was shocked when she received her new license. “Of course this would happen to me,” she said, before wondering if the license was even a valid form of identification. The would-be lawyers and lawyers in her life were eager to
help laugh at her. From a Yahoo! article about her unprecedented troubles:
Pilgrim sent a photo of her license to her law school friends, asking if anyone knew if she would have a legal issue with it. “They all laughed at me,” she says. “Nobody helped.”
So, she sent the photo to her father, who is an attorney. “He didn’t help me either. He just laughed,” she says. Instead, Pilgrim’s father posted a picture of her license on Facebook, where it was spotted by a reporter.
Pilgrim is getting another new license, but hopefully she’ll be able to hold onto this one as a souvenir — according to a spokesperson from the California DMV, this is the only REAL ID out of 9.6 million where someone is wearing a face mask.
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.