My next blog will be all about why I am closing all of my accounts at Wells Fargo. They are stuck in the 20th century in so many ways it’s hard to believe they are still in business.
But before I get to that, I have some ideas for the Department of Licensing, and my bet is that this applies to most states, not just my home, and current, state of Washington. My first such Driver’s License from that state is pictured to the left from 1982.
As much as I dread the notion of getting back in line at the DOL to renew a license, I have to give them a lot of credit – I just renewed my license online and that was fast and easy.
And even though the long lines are awful, I will give the state of Washington (and any other state that does this) some credit for the simplicity of their method of establishing whether someone is old enough to drink (helping bars and vendors that sell alcohol). In Washington, you are not allowed to look into the camera until you are 21, so a bar or vendor doesn’t have to look at your birthday and do the math to see if you can buy alcohol, all they have to do is look at your photo. Good thinking.
It does crack me up a bit that the way they could be sure it was an authentic license in 1982 was putting grooves in the orange section in the shape of the state of Washington so that when you tilted it back and forth in the light, the grooves would move like waves. Wow. How low-tech can you get, by modern standards?
I am a little bit surprised they don’t need a more current photo, but unlike my 1982 photo, the photo they took of me in 2007 is pretty much what I look like today.
So when I mentioned it in passing to my friend Mary that I am so delighted to not have to go to the DOL to renew this year, her reaction surprised me. She said, “oh I know, so you don’t get the judgemental looks about whether you really weigh what you say you weigh.” Nope. That’s not why. I really just don’t like standing in line for hours.
But it did get me rethinking.
What if they had a scale at the DOL that you had to use to verify your weight unless you paid a fee to waive the weigh-in? Or the photo, for that matter. Think about how much revenue states would generate if people (probably mostly women) could pay to fib on non-crucial details of their license. Let’s face it, women can wear their hair differently and become unrecognizable, what good is that photo anyway? Really.
There are 6.6 million people in Washington (presumbly about half are women). Obviously a lot of women in their 20′s couldn’t care less about whether it’s their real weight, but after that, who knows. If you charge $30 just for the waiver on the weigh-in, that’s upwards of $100 million (over five years) in additional revenue, and probably another $100 million to pay to re-use the same photo from last time. And if they wanted to charge $50 for a professional photographer to take your photo . . . Well, you get the idea.
Free money for states that need it. Why not?