I just got my notice that my Oregon driver's license renewal is up and this time around I'm required to bring a sheaf of documentation with me to prove I'm an American citizen, living in Oregon, born on the date I claim, and equipped with the proper income-reporting documentation.
I've had an Oregon dl for 29 years and now I have to jump through this ridiculous set of hoops for what reason? To stop terrorists from legally driving cars in Oregon? To stop non-taxpayers from legally driving cars in Oregon? To stop Oregonians living in Idaho from driving cars in Oregon legally? To stop non-citizens from driving cars legally in Oregon?
Or is it more about some right-wing, protectionist nutjob attempting to put the kibosh on immigrants receiving driver's licenses in Oregon?
The upshot of all of this is that rather than mailing in my thirty-nine bucks every eight years and renewing, I now have to go stand in line at the epitome of bureaucracy to get a new picture taken and stand by while I'm approved as a taxpayer, Oregon resident, and properly documented citizen. To get into that line I'll now be putting myself on the road with a higher risk of driving amongst uninsured, unlicensed drivers.
I won't be proving that I know the proper stopping distance for pedestrians.
I won't be proving that I understand the new bicycle boxes at downtown intersections.
I won't be proving that I know the proper following distance, or when and how to use my turn indicators.
What happens if Oregon only requires you to show up and take a test and prove state residency, as they had done for the past 29 years of my driving experience? I think what happens is that we end up with a bunch of people driving cars in Oregon who live here and passed the same test as everyone else to get their license to drive cars in Oregon.
We put ourselves at less risk. If we were to do that, I'd be driving with a bunch of people who understand the bike boxes, use their turn signals, don't tailgate me in the Terwilliger curves, and flipping yield to me when I'm trying to get across the street with my children on foot.
Damn you, George Bush and all those like you.