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Thread: Texas drivers license requirements go too far

  1. #1
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Default Texas drivers license requirements go too far

    This is sort of a blog post from me, but its sourced. I want to get your opinions on this.

    Backstory: Yesterday, I went to get a Texas drivers license and it was a crazy, crazy experience. I couldn't believe how difficult it was - more difficult than applying for a US Passport. I went to the DMV with a valid California drivers license, a valid US Passport, and 2 utility bills. They turned me away and said I had to come back with proof that I was a US Citizen - hello, my US Passport wasn't enough? No, they needed my Social Security card.

    They handed me this huge list of documents that they needed. I presented them with a certified copy of my birth certificate, showing I was born in the US. Still not good enough - they would only accept proof of a Social Security card. I pulled out a xeorox of my SS card. Still wasn't enough. So I went home and dug for the actual SS card.

    But it isn't required for US citizens to have a SS card! What if I didn't have one? Well, then I wouldn't have a drivers license.

    Long story short, I FINALLY got my license, only to be really taken aback at the questions on the application form.

    They make you identify your race - its not optional. And questionably legal. Then there are questions about your psychiatric history. They want to know if you are taking psychiatric medications, or have seen a psychiatrist in the last 2 years. How is that any of their damn business? It doesn't affect my driving ability, and its not the same as asking if I suffer from a seizure disorder. They want to know if you have any drug or alcohol problems. And if you say 'yes' to any of those, you get a nifty note on your license saying 'psychiatric history' or ''alcohol / drug abuse' so that every clerk in the grocery store can read it when you write a check.

    The whole process was just overly invasive, offensive and a massive pain in the ass. People move, things happen, and not everyone has a Social Security card. I don't get why they are so hung up on that document when other legal documents are just as good, if not better.

    Compare it to say, Virginia's application. Pretty standard.

    I was all sorts of ticked off when I got home. The DMV staff told me that they have these requirements to comply with Homeland Security's REAL ID Act. I looked into it and that's mostly a load of bull:

    Data requirements of the Real ID Act :
    Each card must include, at a minimum, the person's full legal name, signature, date of birth, gender, driver's license or identification card number. It also includes a photograph of the person's face and the address of principal residence.

    Before a card can be issued, the applicant must provide the following documentation:
    • A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes full legal name and birthdate.
    • Documentation of birthdate.
    • Documentation of legal status and Social Security number
    • Documentation showing name and principal residence address.
    • Digital images of each identity document will be stored in each state DMV database
    .
    Then I realize that this is all tied up in the immigration mess:

    Immigrant advocates call for an end to new Texas driver's license rules

    Lawmakers, civil-liberties advocates and immigrant rights' groups are calling for and end to new Texas driver's license requirements that they say discriminate against legal immigrants and cause unnecessary hardships for thousands of people. Immigrant rights' groups have called the policy 'institutionalized racism' that could make Texas roads more dangerous, reports the El Paso Times.

    Under the new rules, license applicants are required to present immigration documents to prove they are in the country legally before they are allowed to receive an original, renewal or duplicate driver's license or identification card. The new rules also require legal immigrants to annually renew their driver's licenses in person and create a new type of license for foreign residents legally in the country on temporary visas. The licenses have a vertical format and are labeled "Temporary Visitor." Legal permanent residents would still have to receive a card stamped as temporary even though their status as "green card" holder does not expire and eventually allows them to apply for U.S. citizenship.

    Texas is only the second state in the nation to have a different-looking license for a particular set of drivers, according to the National Immigration Law Center, which says different licenses can lead to discrimination, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

    Gov. Rick Perry defended the new rules as necessary steps to strengthen security in the post-9-11 era. But critics said the changes would result in racial profiling and put unreasonable burdens on driver's license applicants, resulting in more unlicensed and uninsured drivers. Critics said also say the rules unfairly deny licenses to legal U.S. residents and increase the likelihood lawful immigrants will be discriminated against because their driver's license labels them as different, thus alienating permanent residents.

    The American Civil Liberties Union and Hispanic members of the Texas House of Representatives, called on the Texas Public Safety Commission to rescind the regulations and warned of possible legal action if they remain in force, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

    ISS - Immigrant advocates call for an end to new Texas driver's license rules

    What a load of horsehockey. Especially in a massive state like Texas, driving is vital to being able to make a living. We don't have public transportation. I've been driving for 10 years and it has never been this hard to get a license - not even when I was 15! And how does all of this help public safety and prevent accidents?

  2. #2
    Elite Member january's Avatar
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    What the hell? Even legal US residents (not citizens) have social security numbers for work. What does that prove in terms of citizenship? I had a monster of a time here in California getting my drivers license done as well because of problems with my marriage license (issued overseas) and my name change. It has to make you laugh because both CA and TX have a ton of illegal immigrants driving around every day without a care in the world, yet citizens and legal residents go through so much shit. God bless America.
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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    I can't recall ever having this much trouble when I went to get mine. I think I had more trouble with the eye exam than the paperwork.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Craziness. I haven't seen my SS card in about 20 years. Thankfully I will never live in TExas.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Elite Member Quazar's Avatar
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    What does seeing a psychiatrist have to do with anything and why does this have to be appended to your license? Some people see them for talk therapy and not only for meds. Even so - this is a total invasion of privacy. This may make some people not seek help because they don't want anyone to know.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    Craziness. I haven't seen my SS card in about 20 years. Thankfully I will never live in TExas.
    Now,Butt! I doubt you expected to live in Austrailia,either!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Folieadeux's Avatar
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    Here in Australia you generally need to bring in your birth certificate, a few pieces of paperwork with your name and address and other identifying information like a photo ID and/or credit cards/bankcards.
    ssabmud

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    Elite Member MsDark's Avatar
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    Texas??

    I was wondering if maybe you had to be liscensed to carry a gun as well.

    Or your vehicle must be equipped with a gun rack.
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    Elite Member MrsMarsters's Avatar
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    Hm, weird I know I had to have my ss card with me to get a license, but I am assuming it is a nicer thing? Hell, I lost..well not lost it but it is all faded and torn up.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Now,Butt! I doubt you expected to live in Austrailia,either!

    I draw the line at anywhere below the Mason Dixon line.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buttmunch View Post
    I draw the line at anywhere below the Mason Dixon line.
    Ha! That is where you would have the best time & be totally accepted. We like em- the more outspoken & outrageous,the more dinner parties! We could have the greatest time! Take Louisiana-drive through dacquies. Alcohol at breakfast,lunch,dinner-matters naught! The Cochon de Lait Festival-you would love Ville Platt! The parade is something else-everyone so plowed they are falling off their horses,but rally for the dance later. No sleep needed-you might miss something! Yep,you'd be happy as a crawfish!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member suede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsDark View Post
    Texas??

    I was wondering if maybe you had to be liscensed to carry a gun as well.

    Or your vehicle must be equipped with a gun rack.
    Interesting you say that because I think a driver's lic is all you need to purchase a gun in Tx.

    Aside from the psychiatric and drug questions (which is just odd to me for driver's license - but incidentally are questions in NYS for a gun permit) which are ultimately irritating yet doable; I am perfectly happy to come up with a ridiculous laundry list of items and endless hoops to go through if it mean that it will make it that much harder for the illegals. The illegals that exhaust our resources and break the law on a daily basis to just bail the state or country when they get caught or are about to.

    But that's just me.
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    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suede View Post
    Interesting you say that because I think a driver's lic is all you need to purchase a gun in Tx.

    Aside from the psychiatric and drug questions (which is just odd to me for driver's license - but incidentally are questions in NYS for a gun permit) which are ultimately irritating yet doable; I am perfectly happy to come up with a ridiculous laundry list of items and endless hoops to go through if it mean that it will make it that much harder for the illegals. The illegals that exhaust our resources and break the law on a daily basis to just bail the state or country when they get caught or are about to.

    But that's just me.
    See I agree with you, but then again I don't. Here's another spin on that one: I have a friend who is a UK citizen but she's lived in TX since she was 3. She went to college here, got a 4.0, has a full-on Texas accent and is for all intents and purposes an American. After college, she just got so fed up arguing with our country to try to be here legally that she left and moved back to the UK. So we lost a bright, college-educated young woman because she was so sick of having to exert so much effort just to do simple stuff like get a drivers license, an apartment, apply to grad school. I felt so bad for her, she was constantly having to go down to the state capitol to sort out one thing or another just to continue going about her daily life. It blew my mind how the simplest things turned into bureaucratic nightmares for her with endless paperwork and meetings with the government.

    I got a tiny taste of that with my DMV experience and it really, really sucked. It was like talking to a brick wall: what do you mean my US passport and certified birth certificate don't prove I'm a citizen? All that just to be able to drive my car.

  14. #14
    Elite Member suede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calimoonchild View Post

    I got a tiny taste of that with my DMV experience and it really, really sucked. It was like talking to a brick wall: what do you mean my US passport and certified birth certificate don't prove I'm a citizen? All that just to be able to drive my car.
    I have to admit it's hard to argue that and I would be no doubt as bent as you are about it.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Ha! That is where you would have the best time & be totally accepted. We like em- the more outspoken & outrageous,the more dinner parties! We could have the greatest time! Take Louisiana-drive through dacquies. Alcohol at breakfast,lunch,dinner-matters naught! The Cochon de Lait Festival-you would love Ville Platt! The parade is something else-everyone so plowed they are falling off their horses,but rally for the dance later. No sleep needed-you might miss something! Yep,you'd be happy as a crawfish!
    Stop tempting me. I'm sick of moving. The drunks falling off their horses is interesting enough to get me to consider though.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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