Physical Driver’s License Obsolete

Mia Jay, Staff Writer

Acquiring a driver’s license is a milestone in any teenager’s life. From taking driver’s education classes to practicing with a parent, teenagers spend a lot of time earning this new level of independence. However, remembering to carry the physical card can be troublesome for forgetful teens. Failure to produce a driver’s license during a traffic stop can lead to a fine of $100 to $500, or in some cities in California, drivers can be incarcerated.

Freshman Kira Jamgotchian, who is on her way to earning a driver’s license, said, “I lose things all the time, and I would love another option so I won’t lose my driver’s license.”

With so many other practical aspects of life having gone digital, it’s time the Department of Motor Vehicles do the same. Police could utilize a fingerprint machine that could instantly access a driver’s records without any need for the physical card.

Establishing this system would be fairly easy. When any new driver gets their license, they are already required to get a fingerprint scan. People are required to renew their license every 5 years, so the new system could be completely in place within this time.

This new system could be more effective than relying on traditional hard copies of the driver’s license. Physical documents can be forged, but fingerprints cannot. Using fingerprints to replace a driver’s license could prove to be beneficial because it is a fast, easy way of pulling up someone’s files that ensures authenticity. Fingerprint scanners could be placed in all police patrol cars, and a driver would simply have to produce a finger when pulled over.

The DMV must take action to modernize driver identification to keep pace with the rest of society.