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Thoughts about Personal Identification

January 21, 2011

Okay, I know that there are three hundred million people in the United States and around thirty million people in Canada.  The authorities rightly should have a system of keeping track of their residents.  Fine.

But the thought of turning the lowly driver’s license into a National Identity Card, currently being considered in both countries, is an appalling one.

And no, I don’t care how many other repressive countries have national ID cards or how “convenient” such a thing would be for law enforcement.  I believe it is our innate right to live freely without officialdom in far-away jurisdictions searching for unpaid parking tickets, court costs, and whatever excuses are now used to suspend otherwise law-abiding citizens’ licenses.

We all pay for the road systems in North America. Driving – assuming a person knows how to do so – should be a right, not a “privilege.”  There should be no implied waivers of civil liberties when we apply for and receive a license, such as the demand for checkpoint searches, sobriety tests, and the rest of the police-state nonsense that is filling the law statute books faster than governments can build money-making jails to house new inmates and enrich the prison-industrial complex.

Here’s a sensible example of a driver’s license, one I acquired in the Cook Islands:

And the inside:

No magnetic strips with biometric info, no retina scans, no digitalized fingerprints, nothing but the right to drive.

I’ve often thought of tossing my American license and just using this one.  With a little ingenuity I could extend the date of its validity for several years.  I wonder what would happen if I was pulled over for speeding, or, heaven forbid, doing a rolling breeze-through at a stop sign.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Bruce Herring permalink
    January 26, 2011 3:20 am

    Well, how about a rolling breeze-in at your local courthouse as you pay the fine?

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