Florida changed its driver’s license? Well, that’s special.
Banks, businesses and agencies that require people to present picture identification should be aware that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has changed the look of its state-issued licenses and ID cards.
The change occurred in Alachua County last week, and the Alachua County Tax Collector’s Office, which handles the issuance of state-issued licenses and ID cards in the county, wants people to know the different-looking cards are here.
“Last week, one of our employees who had the new driver’s license went to a bank to do a transaction, and the teller was suspicious of the new look of the driver’s license,” said John Power, Alachua County tax collector.
A new look and a confused bank teller. That can happen, because banks often demand you prove your identity. But do they need to know anything else about you?
The new design also has designations for boaters, the deaf and hard of hearing and developmentally disabled, lifetime boater, hunting, freshwater and saltwater licenses, as well as for organ donors and veterans.
Also, the new driver’s license and ID card will identify sexual predators and offenders with a distinguishing blue mark on the bottom right front. Sexual predators will have “Sexual Predator” spelled out, while sexual offenders will have “943.0435 F.S.” on their cards.
Boaters? Okay, nothing particularly personal there, although what business it is of bank tellers, or highway cops, that you’re a boater is a mystery. But a “sexual predator”? Not just a sex offender, which would be bad enough, but predator? That will make for an interesting chat with the teller.
It’s not bad enough that sex offender registries exist, so we know whom to hate and shun if we’re so inclined to check. After all, the kid who peed against a wall certainly isn’t the sort you want your daughter to bring home for dinner. And now their passports will be marked, so when they check in to the George V in Paris, the bellhop can be on guard.
But their driver’s license? So every time they’re asked for identification for some innocuous reason, there will be no doubt that the random person knows they are a sexual threat and should treat them accordingly?
And why would the traffic cop who asks for license and registration need to know that they’re a sexual predator? Does failure to use a turn signal somehow involve the mutual sending of naked selfies as a teen? Or is it just in case the cop needs to know whom he can dump on if the day hasn’t gone particularly well? If you’ve got to beat someone, why not a sexual predator?
It’s not that there aren’t potential law enforcement uses to someone on the sex offender registry being required to carry evidence of his shame, but the implications of having to navigate otherwise normal life for someone who has paid his debt to society with the Scarlet Letter are crazy.
Driver’s licenses are a ubiquitous form of identification, and they’re meant to be. Turning them into a weapon to make the lives of people already suffering societal hatred unbearable is unjustifiable. Short of the actual tattoo on the forehead, what more can we do to create a caste of untouchables in America?
And worse yet, when you wonder why they aren’t able to reintegrate into society so that they spend the rest of their lives as useful, productive citizens, what can you expect of people who can’t live most places, can’t go to many others, can’t engage in many occupations and now have to carry a card to let random people know they’re sexual predators as well? The best that can be said is at least they aren’t imprisoned in perpetuity under civil commitment.
What could possibly go wrong with dumping ever-increasing burdens on sex offenders?