The Case Against Driver’s Licenses


The Case Against Driver’s Licenses

Eric Peters

Eric Peters Autos

January 13, 2012

That little plastic laminated card you’ve got in your wallet or purse – you know, the state’s permission slip for operating a motor vehicle? Ever stop to reflect how peripheral the driving part of a driver’s license is?

Because, of course, a driver’s license is in fact our national ID card.

It’s impossible to function in modern society without this national ID card – even if you never get behind the wheel of an automobile. You can’t open a bank account, cash a check, visit the doctor, vote, board an airplane or even get a job without one.

Or at least, it is very difficult to do these things without one.

And none of these things, as such, have anything to do with the operation of a motor vehicle.

If it were merely a driver’s license, the main issue would be whether we’re sufficiently competent to get behind the wheel. There would be a meaningful test of one’s ability to handle a car. An actual road test on an actual road, in traffic – not the perfunctory drive around the cones in the DMV parking lot (and even that is only required of new/first-time applicants in most states) preceded by a sixth-grade-level written (well, touch-screen video) test of one’s knowledge of The Law.

A medium-smart baboon could pass this test with a little coaching. Few ever fail it – baboons or otherwise. Most of us snicker at the absurdity of it. But it is only absurd from the perspective that assumes they are testing our ability to drive.

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