Short Take: License To Ruin

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?

17 thoughts on “Short Take: License To Ruin

  1. That Anonymous Coward

    “But it sounded like such a good idea when they talked about it on the news.”
    Said by every person not directly effected by the change.

    While I could understand the minimal thought process of, we can just list everything on their card & not print more stuff for them to lose. We should put on there if are handicapped in some way, because they might end up in a situation where they can’t tell us so their ID will protect them. If we’re going to do this, we should flag all of them sex offenders!!! They need to be constantly reminded that they mooned someone. And the added bonus of bouncers knowing who to keep out of clubs, people in line seeing it when you open your wallet, going to get on a plane & so many other places where someone will jump to conclusions assuming the worst.

    All it took was someone saying ‘Won’t someone think of the children!’ and they got stupid things added.
    No politician wants to open the door to being labelled a sex offender lover.

    Being on a list, having to check in, having randoms checking up on you… not enough.
    We need another punishment for people who make the list & that punishment needs to be the same for HS guy who traded pics with his GF all the way to the guy who molested several children. No one wants to hear why you are on the list, cause you’d lie anyways. No one wants to know that peeing in an alley puts you on the same list as the trenchcoat weirdo who flashed little old ladies.

    We assigned a label so we’ve fixed it, so what if we stretch the label to ridiculous levels?
    Now when a girl on the internet gets talking into meeting a man at the mall, she can demand to see his ID to make sure he really is a model scout & not a sicko.

    1. SHG Post author

      There was a time when the woke understood what was wrong about tainting a person’s every move in perpetuity, but that was before Harvey and Franken. Expect it to get a whole lot worse going forward. The sexual predator panic might have been bad before, but it’s about to go to entirely new depths. No longer will the mantra be “do it for the children,” but “do it for the women.”

      1. Sgt. Schultz

        Oh shit.

        No longer will the mantra be “do it for the children,” but “do it for the women.”

        I just connected the dots. We are about to go into a legal dark ages with regard to sexual assault, harassment, etc. Bad as SORA was before, we’re about to see it all go down the toilet “for the women.” Oh, oh shit.

        1. SHG Post author

          Bingo. Already, Rep. Jackie Speier and my own special Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, have sponsored a new law to deal with congressional harassment called the very trendy “Me Too Act.” Given how few opportunities there are to beat this horse to death, who knows where it will go next, but it won’t be good.

          1. That Anonymous Coward

            (work with the shtick a little, immortal sociopath disconnected from humans)

            Humans have an amazing ability to suddenly notice they’ve ignored something.
            The over-reaction generated by this could power a small nation.
            We’re happy to have laws with punishments, but magically if we can find a way to extend the punishment we’ll do it… ignoring the future cost of that extra twist of the dagger.

            We assumed that Title IX was keeping girls safe on campus but it wasn’t, “Dear Colleague” letter decided that if the person involved had a penis, that is all the evidence of guilt required. We like this because we void some of the most basic principles in the law, so we sidestep that thorny issue and punish men. If she even had a whiff of alcohol, say like the cute guys mouthwash, she is totally incapable of deciding to make a decision she will regret later. We are preparing them for the real world where women demand to be treated as equals… with a few extra rights to make up for the past.

            We assumed the sex offender registry was doing its job, they kept reporting on the news about all of the names added to it. Except the number of truly sick people who molest children isn’t a giant demographic, so we added more behaviors to the list. We pay attention to them being on the list, not what can land you on it. A 16 yr old boy TOTALLY needs to be on the list if his 15 yr old girlfriend sent him a racy picture unprompted & unsolicited. We’ll threaten the girl too with having her life ruined for daring to do it, but the boy must burn.

            Humans like to imagine bad things aren’t happening, we have laws. When a horrible story is reported, we assume the law has failed in every case and needs to be harsher. It is not enough to pass a law ensuring all get fair treatment, somehow we think we need to make sure the law “makes up” for all past transgressions moving forward. Then people wonder why some men are very offended being told they HAVE to train their male peers to not rape. Not all men are guilty of rape, but they are now magical super-predators who can strike without warning, especially if she said yes then regrets it because he promised he liked liked her to get her into bed & then didn’t call her the next day.

            We are all equal until we are not, and then we have to put bells, whistles, fireworks shows on for the world to be a constant reminder.

            We’re passing a law to “get” BackPage, opening the door for the deep pocket to be responsible for a 3rd parties actions. BackPage is a hot button with people so angry at the platform while ignoring kids don’t just pop into existence with wifi in their brain & no supervision. Part of this is driven by the “research” and 4.8 billion children are being sex trafficked at any given time.

            I just want someone to explain why BackPage deserves to have a law changed to open them to liability while we have laws protecting gun makers from liability to families killed with their weapons. I mean yes we should blame the shooter, but dead people aren’t rich. Didn’t they facilitate murder by making the tool available, just like BackPage?

            I lack the patience to read the “Me Too Act”, I’ll trust history as a guide, it supports women in huge ways but ignores that sometimes those of us with a penis aren’t the perp, we’re the victim.

            We had laws on the books, but unless people report the law is powerless.
            If we give people imagined power & twist ourselves into knots to protect them they stay in power.
            The law didn’t fail, society failed.
            We let fame/power/prestige deflect belief in claims.
            Pity we little people can’t just have a Treasury slush fund that pays the settlements in these cases for us & let us stay on the job.

            1. SHG Post author

              This is what might best be called an “adderall moment.” an absolutely stunning lack of focus and shallowness devolving into chaos theory, that is beloved at reddit. Here, not so much.

  2. Patrick Maupin

    All those downsides are inconsequential compared to the benefits. When a cop randomly plugs someone, one quick search through the wallet will reveal a goldmine. The process of smearing the victim perp can start hours or days sooner than before.

  3. Noxx

    Developmentally disabled eh? “Why yes here’s my identification, also, I’m a retard, please take advantage of me”.

    I foresee this turning out so well.

  4. Frank

    The cynic in me believes this was to encourage those so marked to off themselves and eliminate the “problem.”

  5. Nemo

    Looks like Florida’s got the “plus cancer” figured out, for sex-related convictions, at least. It remains to be seen if the plus cancer’s sufficiently punitive to make the life in prison part obsolete, but the Sexual Predator designation has that off to a good start, since that makes any encounter requiring the display of her driver’s license at least somewhat punitive, simply by the anticipation factor.

    Additional punishments upon viewing the new designations appear to be inevitable, in the long run. While it seems to me that the punishments meted out by the public will primarily be of the verbal nature, it appears that physical battery is also an inevitable outcome.

    The question this raises for me is how many times would a person carrying such a DL would have to get the crap beaten out of them, before a case could be made that the setup is punitive, and not administrative. Three times, perhaps, so as to go beyond happenstance and coincidence?

    Of course, my inexpert view includes the possibility that the courts could determine that people deciding that the carrier of such a card is literally a sexual nazi, and therefore worthy of being punched has nothing to do with the administrative law. Maybe what’s needed is another law, one that brings this law even more in line with the Biblical Cain’s Mark, since that seems to be where this law’s going.

  6. David

    You didn’t even mention going to a bar, getting carded, and then having the waitress or bartender refuse to serve because she’s now literally shaking.

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