Purdue Student Refused Cold Medicine Due to Puerto Rico ID

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Purdue Student Refused Cold Medicine Due to Puerto Rico ID

A clerk and shift supervisor refused to accept Jose Guzman Payano's license, saying that it wasn't a U.S.-issued ID.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- CVS is apologizing after employees at a West Lafayette store refused to give a Purdue student cold medication after he presented them with his Puerto Rican driver's license.

Jose Guzman Payano said a clerk and shift supervisor refused to accept his license, saying that it was not an ID card issued by the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917 through an act of congress.

Guzman Payano said he tried explaining that Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, but the clerk questioned his immigration status and demanded to see a visa.

"When she asked me for the visa, I was in shock," he said. "We went back and forth and I said again that it was a U.S.-issued license."

Guzman Payano left the store without his cold medication. He filed a complaint with CVS, but the company took more than a week to respond. 

CVS issued an apology and "promised to reinforce policy procedures with employees," as they do accept Puerto Rican driver's licenses.

Guzman Payano said he hopes more people educate themselves about Puerto Rico and its status as a U.S. territory.

"Some people don't even know where Puerto Rico is located," he said. "I just don't want anyone else to go through this."

(Photo by WISH-TV.)

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