ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

EDITORIAL: Complaints about license requirements

State officials are weeping and wailing about new national licensing standards set during 2005 by Congress. The law requires residents to present a passport or state-certified birth certificate to obtain a driver's license. Further, states must v...

State officials are weeping and wailing about new national licensing standards set during 2005 by Congress.

The law requires residents to present a passport or state-certified birth certificate to obtain a driver's license. Further, states must verify those documents with the issuing agency. People who aren't U.S. citizens would have to provide documents proving their legal status.

Officials of several states contend the law will lead to higher costs, fees and delays.

This is in stark contrast to what Americans were saying on Sept. 11, 2001. The senseless murder of more than 2,700 people prompted virtually everyone to say they'd pay more and wait longer in line to ensure their safety. How soon we forget.

This isn't the only instance in which Wisconsin officials seem overly hesitant to require proper identification. The same holds true for voting, as some fear tough ID requirements would be unfair to immigrants and homeless people.

ADVERTISEMENT

But let's realize a driver's license is an officially recognized identification card. If virtually anyone can get one without strong documentation, that value is lost. It means nothing.

No doubt, there's some paranoia among those who fear a totalitarian "big brother" mentality lurks within our federal government. And that has been made worse because the Bush administration has circumvented the courts when inspecting individuals' telephone and financial information in its fight against terrorists.

President George Bush, however, won't be president forever. But the need for legitimate anti-terrorism measures will go on. The latest identification law seems legitimate, while costs and time delays seem reasonable. Receiving a driver's license is a privilege, not a Constitutionally guaranteed right.

What To Read Next