Today they stamped “sex offender” on my driver’s license

 

By Michael M. . . . I’d been dreading this day for months – the final day before my Oklahoma state driver’s license expired. Recently, my state had passed legislation requiring that the licenses of those convicted of aggravated sex offenses be marked “Sex Offender” in bold capital red letters in two different locations on the front of the card.

Red-letter days are supposed to be joyful occasions, but not so much in this case. I certainly wasn’t going to submit to this particular humiliation by renewing my license any earlier than necessary, so I procrastinated until the very last moment. Perhaps I was simply in denial. Maybe I was hoping against hope that our elected representatives and the courts would miraculously come to their senses and see the utter insanity of this policy before Thursday rolled around. But, of course, that didn’t happen.

That morning, I prepared myself mentally by indulging in a sumptuous meal. I’ve always believed that bad things seem even worse on an empty stomach. I showered, shaved, and put on a new shirt. “Look good, feel good, and you’ll be at your best,” is what my mother always told me. I drove the scenic route to the licensing agency. I was in absolutely no hurry to do this. I pulled into the parking lot, took a few deep breaths, and strode into the airy office with a smile on my face that didn’t reflect the churning in my stomach.

For the first time in my life, I was hoping for a long line, and yet there I was, the only customer in the place.  A woman beckoned me to her station, and I handed her my expiring license with a smile. “I need to renew this,” I said. I silently considered adding some pithy remark befitting a condemned man on his way to the gallows but realized that I’d probably then have to explain it, which would only make things worse. She cheerfully invited me to have a seat in another lady’s cubicle and I did.

She asked me if any of my information had changed. I thought, everything has changed. My life has been turned upside down. I was nearly bankrupted. Society now considers me a monster. I smiled and said, “No, nothing’s changed.”

She was undoubtably viewing my information on her computer screen and the digital proof of the license as we chatted.  SEX OFFENDER.  Big.  Bold.  Red.  Letters.  If this perturbed her in any way, she gave no indication of it whatsoever. Instead, she asked, “Are you a veteran?”

I responded, “Yes, I am.  Why do you ask?”

She positively beamed, “We can print VETERAN on your license! You know, in case you want to get a military discount while shopping or at restaurants!” I chuckled and told her to go ahead and add it.

Not that I’ll be showing off my new red-letter license to the cashier at IHOP anytime soon.

Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Michael McKay

Michael McKay is NARSOL's Director of Marketing and a frequent contributor of articles to the NARSOL website. He is the published author of several non-fiction books, contributing editor & board member at LifeTimes Magazine, the executive editor of The Registry Report, and founding host of Registry Report Radio on BlogTalkRadio.

Viewing 19 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #41477 Reply
      Avatar
      Phillips

      Yeah unfortunately I have had to register for the past 16 years when I shouldn’t have been. I have attorneys working on getting me off the registry and it’s not easy at all. They have me being convicted when the case was dropped but with Texas they think they are above the law. Hopefully one day I will be able to be an assistant to anyone on the registry. When and if I get any financial gain from it it will go towards helping change the laws.

    • #41487 Reply
      Avatar
      Maestro

      Ok, people, don’t tell me that you’re all SCARED so much to the point that you’ll submit to this atrocity!
      Are you going to be arrested and given life in prison for REFUSING to update your drivers licenses?
      STRENGTH IN N U M B E R S. It can’t just be 1 or 2 or 3 people who decide to refuse this insanity, it has to be HUNDREDS even THOUSANDS.
      Remember, updating your license requires PAYING for it. It’s not given for FREE. If the DMV takes note that a few thousand people have not updated their licenses and flat out REFUSE to do so, they LOSE MONEY. And when state agencies LOSE MONEY, they get all in a tizzy. This WILL cause them to change this nonsense.

      But don’t listen to me. I dunno what the hell I’m talking about. Just go do what you’re puppet masters tell you to do. Pretty much defeats the purpose of this site and the comments of everyone sobbing and moaning about this sh*t.

      TAKE A STAND! IT’S ONLY A LICENSE! WERE YOU BORN DRIVING? NO!

      • #41491 Reply
        Fred
        Fred
        Admin

        In my state registrants are required by law to maintain a valid ID, and failure to comply with the registry laws is a four year felony for each count. The state will make back any financial loses plus change from refusals to renew IDs when they prosecute those doing the refusing. Judges across the state will have no problem issuing arrest warrants for any number of non-compliant registrants.

        A protest like you suggested might raise a few eyebrows, but in the end all it will result in is more registrants behind bars where they can’t do anything for our cause. Our fight is in the courts on Constitutional grounds.

        Remember, protests are great for bringing attention to an issue, and I am all for them. However, it really boils down to what is Constitutional and what isn’t. The court’s opinion is based on it’s findings of the constitutionality of the law, not on how mad the public is.

        • #41500 Reply
          Avatar
          Maestro

          I’m going to have to disagree with some…many things you said.
          First of all, if the court doesn’t care about what people have to say then we should omit “We The People” from the constitution.
          Second, the courts actually DO care what people have to say as they always worry about what “the people” will say about certain decisions they make.
          Third, what’s FREE about a country when a state can DEMAND that you carry an ID at all times?
          I can see how an ID would help, but if they’re going to demand it and then stamp it based on a prior conviction, then no. Screw them.

          Fourth, STENGTH in NUMBERS. It’s easy to sit back and imagine a couple of people, maybe even 50 or so, getting arrested for refusing this crap. But imagine a SWARM of people like that which you would see at a concert arena. Yeah. There’s not going to be enough court time or jail beds to combat that. And THAT’S when they’ll realize they need to change this “scheme”. I’ve always pronounced this as “skeem” because that’s what it is. It’s a skeem and skeems are scams.

          Furthermore, it can’t just be registrants at such a protest. It will have to include family, friends and any other advocates of this scam.
          It has to be the mothers and fathers of registrants who had their youthful lives turned upside down for being – well, YOUTHFUL. It has to be wives and kids of dads who stand up and scream into news cameras about how their child is being bullied because of what the dad did 20+ yrs ago. Scream in people’s faces just like Antifa screams in people’s faces for voting for Trump.
          But nah. Just a nice, quiet protest. Like a shit ton of people gathering in front of their state legislature building with lawn chairs. Cause a little traffic jam or two. Then everyone just sits down, men, women, kids, advocates, just sit there and be in everyone’s way. And most of all, don’t be afraid to say you’re protesting the stamping of drivers licenses. And don’t be ashamed to have to tell people that a “sex offense” does not mean a crime similar to what happened to Megan Kanka.

          🤷🏻‍♂️

          • #41502 Reply
            Fred
            Fred
            Admin

            We the People do not write the laws. We elect and lobby officials who do. The courts ensure that those laws stay within the confines of the U.S. Constitution. It’s all part of our Checks and Balances system. Unfortunately the “Checks” part of it moves very slowly.

            Judges and Justices have a job to remain rigid and uphold the Constitution, despite public backlash. No amount of yelling or screaming should influence their opinion, and if it does, they are unfit to sit on the bench. You should consider that a good thing, because at this time the pro-registry voices will drown out the anti-registry voices.

            There is absolutely nothing free about a state that requires one class of citizens to maintain a valid ID, but not another class. Therein lies my point, we fight these laws in court on Constitutional grounds.

            As I said, I am all for protests. They will help raise awareness and influence public opinion, and that translates into votes for officials who will support reasonable legislation. Refusing to comply with the registry laws that are now in the books is not a healthy protest. That would be a crime, and would cause more problems for registrants everywhere.

          • #41505 Reply
            Sandy Rozek
            Sandy Rozek
            Admin

            The time for We the People making our voices heard and making our demands known is at the legislative level. That is why I beg and encourage registrants and their families and friends in a state to band together, even if only three or four, and attend legislative hearings on sex offender issues, sign up to speak, to give testimony, and to go and visit legislators and their aides in their offices. You will be listened to there. I know; I have done it.
            The court should NOT be swayed by the voice of the people. That is what the recall of Judge Pensky being voted on at this moment in California is all about. There is grave danger here. The growing tendency to give victims of crimes a greater and greater voice in all steps of criminal proceedings shows this. An independent judiciary, sworn only to upholding the laws of the courts in which they serve, and the Constitution, is the backbone of our system. If Pensky is recalled, how many judges, fearing the same outcry and demand for recall if people don’t agree with their rulings, will give harsher sentences than they believe appropriate just to keep the same thing from happening to them?

          • #41593 Reply
            Avatar
            Facts should matter

            As I’m sure you’re aware by now, Pensky was indeed recalled and this is just a terrible situation right now at this moment to be a labeled. Americans are too addicted to outrage and hell bent on false ideological justice when it comes to anything sex.

          • #41610 Reply
            Avatar
            Maestro

            Well….as you saw tonight on the news – the PEOPLE swayed the courts. So yeah.

        • #55335 Reply
          Avatar
          Pjsplace

          Amen!, hit them in the wallet, the government is all about money, they won’t hear a word you say until they lose money! My grandson has to register since he was 20 for something that happened at 19. Just graduated did not even get a chance to start his future over something so dumb, but right now he lives in AR and they do have this law. Yet its life time reg. For all, but he can petition the court after 15 years, I’m guessing it’s not easy, because I see lots of people still on it.

          I checked him moving to Ohio and it looked like a good place for him, but they use SORNA, or SORN and have resendentcy restrictions and AR does not for a level 2, he’s a 2 just because his girlfriend brought a girl with her that was 13 and did not tell anyone. But any way Ohio would be Tier 1, and they would give him credit for his time on the AR registry when he registered. He would have to get off AR first tho. And after 10 years he could apply to be removed, but then I found the list of hoops you have to comply with in order to do it! Omgosh. What I do not know is if Ohio has this DL law, but I was thinking he could take the bus , only there are none where I live. But what did people do before they could drive? You got driven.

    • #41503 Reply
      Avatar
      Jim Kaufman

      How exactly does stamping a driver’s license with “SEX OFFENDER” make the public any safer? “Hey kid, come here and look at my license before you get in my van!”

      • #41562 Reply
        Avatar
        Citizen

        Why would legislators care about what we say when we don’t have the right to vote, and no one else cares about our issues? Many states restore voting rights to felons, many refuse to do so. Many states restore voting rights to all felons except sex offenders. Many Sex offenders are required to be on life time parole, where they are told they can’t vote, protest, or congregate with other felons.
        I can just imagine going to my local legislature and telling them how sex offender laws impede my dignity and basic human rights. They would laugh in my face and turn my plight into campaign propaganda.
        These people have already drawn a line in the sand. They are not interested in helping us. Their only use for us is to further their careers on our suffering.

        • #41613 Reply
          Avatar
          Maestro

          “Why would legislators care about what we say when we don’t have the right to vote, and no one else cares about our issues? Many states restore voting rights to felons, many refuse to do so. Many states restore voting rights to all felons except sex offenders. Many Sex offenders are required to be on life time parole, where they are told they can’t vote, protest, or congregate with other felons.”

          Citizen,

          Everything you said in that paragraph is why I have mentioned another type of protest for ALL felons, that being – If we can’t vote, protect ourselves, protest or gather with other people due to convictions we may not even know they have (“Hey, buddy. Nice day huh? Oh…before I continue talking to you…are you a felon? Cuz I am and I wouldn’t want us getting into trouble”.), be on lifetime parole or probation and adhere to THEIR ludicrous rules, then we should ALL be TAX EXEMPT. How DARE the state and federal gov take taxes from us (income, property, etc) and then tell us what WE CANNOT do, which is lead a normal everyday life.

    • #41513 Reply
      Michael McKay
      Michael McKay

      As the author of this piece, I’ve been a bit surprised at the strong reactions it seems to evoke in people. I think it’s safe to say that it’s an issue that almost no one thinks about until it happens to them or to someone they care about. Unfortunately, that could well be said of just about everything related to the insane sex offense laws in this country. The licensing issue will undoubtably end up in front of the SCOTUS eventually, but the challenges of taking something like this that far are numerous and daunting. First, you have to be someone who has actually been harmed by the law. Not theoretically harmed, not righteously outraged, but actually and measurably harmed. Then you have to lose your case at every level from the local courts up to the appellate courts. You must have legal representation that has experience with appellate law, and preferably with the SCOTUS. And finally, it takes a crapload of money to do all that, even if it isn’t necessarily your money (i.e. in the case of pro bono work). Oh, and by the way, you need a good P.R. team, otherwise you run the risk of winning the battle, but losing the war. It’s not uncommon to have a SCOTUS decision spark a backlash that ends up doing one’s cause more harm than good.

      It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and say, “Something should be done about this!” but… as the saying goes, “Every task seems easy to someone who doesn’t have to do it himself.” I encourage anyone who is affected by this law (or others that are similar to it) to document their experiences and the supposedly unintended consequences of this policy. I encourage attorneys who are knowledgeable and experienced in this area of the law to consider it as a pro bono project. There are surely constitutional issues at stake, such as the right to privacy, compelled speech, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment (i.e. vigilantism), etc.

      Michael M.

    • #41514 Reply
      Avatar
      Joe

      Sandy, unfortunately in my state, those on the registry are prohibited from being within 300 feet on the legislative building, presumably because it has a “child care” center in it. Ludicrous.

      • #41519 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        Joe, what state? That would seem to be interfering with your right to participate in your government.

    • #41532 Reply
      Avatar
      Rich

      At least you’re not in Alabama. My license has “Criminal Sex Offender” in bold red letters. Also the law requires it be in my possession “at all times”. Violating it is a class C felony, 1-10yrs.

    • #41557 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      Sandy this driver license thing sounds a bit damaging or embarrassing to some. Even in the dollar stores today one has to present there drivers license if they even want to buy a pkg. of cigarette’s . Now you and a few others have got onto me a few times but that doesn’t phase me. What really fazes me is this sex offender registry and these demeaning things such this drivers license stamp of SEX OFFENDER. Think about it that way.. Oh we are not suppose to think. I believe someone said.. Either get busy living , or get busy dying. By all means Voice your opinion and make your stand.

      Common sense about this simple driver license issue is basic discrimination/labeling. Sure we all could go sit in on legislation but who has equal rights today. One would probably have to show their license and that may be a rejection from participation even in legislation matters. Didn’t we all have that with tare plea deal that some (including myself) were sucked up into. Lawmakers are sly devils. All they care about is their self-esteem or reputation. Do those in office ever listen to the little people, or does it go in one ear and out the other or those letters tossed in the trash if that’s the case.

      The old saying is money talks but for my buck the truth will always the best way. Sure we all want to fight this battle. We can all write letters to Governors or the White house. These little scribes in government don’t even know how to shine their shoes correctly these days Would “black balling” others in these ordeals come to mind. Sure they can if one lets them. So who points the finger at those one’s on the sex registry or do we still have rights to stand up just like your organization or any other group. We all need to come together. Remember: Injustice anywhere is a thereat everywhere and yes Justice is conscience.

    • #41572 Reply
      Avatar
      david

      Stamped with red ink in actual “scarlet letters”.

    • #41579 Reply
      Avatar
      TS

      How is this not compelled speech by the government and challenged under Maynard v Wooley? Same principle.

      • #41635 Reply
        Avatar
        TS

        From another discussion elsewhere on this OK ID/DL topic for interested parties:

        Also key to the whole compelled speech argument is Riley v. Nat’l Fed. of the Blind (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/487/781/case.html). In that case, SCOTUS said: ***** Moreover, for First Amendment purposes, a distinction cannot be drawn between compelled statements of opinion and, as here, compelled statements of “fact,” since either form of compulsion burdens protected speech. Thus, North Carolina’s content-based regulation is subject to exacting First Amendment scrutiny. ***** This is a bright-line statement, and reiterates strict scrutiny as the standard. It’s obviously important in the ID/DL discussion as the State would certainly argue they’re just giving truthful information, a la ML. However, unlike the data on a ML site, which is a compendium of public records, the marking on a DL/ID is not any form of public record. It is a distinct and separate message actively created by the State, which the citizen is then compelled to speak, despite her/his disagreement with the message–just like in Maynard. WV St. Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/319/624/case.html) could also come into play regarding compelled speech. (It was a actually Freedom of Religion case, but SCOTUS avoided that and ruled on Freedom of Speech…compelled speech.)

      • #42875 Reply
        Avatar
        TS

        Read this recently and thought it would be most appropriate here for those in OK who are now recipients of marked DLs/IDs and want to fight them:

        “Recent SCOTUS Opinion in NIFLA v. Becerra (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1140_5368.pdf) is chock full of good material to use against marked DLs and IDs. It relies a good deal on Riley v. Nat’l Fed. of the Blind (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/487/781/case.html), which isn’t surprising given that case’s holding that even factual speech is subject to compelled-speech analysis. It’s possible anyone in a marked-DL/ID state could easily win a case using this case and its citations, especially if some Wooley v. Maynard (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/430/705/case.html) is tossed in for good measure. Marked DLs/IDs are easily intermediate scrutiny material (speaker-based speech), but probably strict scrutiny material (content-based speech).”

        “There are so many gems in this case, but one from Kennedy in his Concurrence (joined by Roberts, Alito, and Gorsuch) stands out: “Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions.”” Well, that is a swing against those states with marked-DLs/IDs, e.g. AL, FL, MS, & OK.

      • #43780 Reply
        Avatar
        TS

        Ran across this elsewhere and thought it would help here. There is a pending case in the Middle District of Alabama (Doe v. Marshall) that provides some help to anyone wishing to challenge marked ID/DL laws and/or reporting internet/email IDs. The PACER document is an Opinion from the judge for the case, and he does a fantastic job of detailing how and why marked ID/DLs are compelled speech and how and why reporting Internet IDs is a 1st Amdt. issue. He nicely shreds the State’s arguments.

    • #41652 Reply
      Avatar
      Rich

      Second attempt to post. Be glad you’re not in Alabama. My license has “Criminal Sex Offender” in bold red letters. Also the statute requires it be in my possession “at all times”. Violation is punishable by 1-10yrs. To make matters worse for me, if I had the ability to hire a lawyer, I could file a rule 32 petition and have my verdict set aside which would remove me from the registry. Tennyson v Alabama applies to my case.

    • #41734 Reply
      Avatar
      Al

      Louisiana is another state that has this requirement, so you are not alone in OK or AL.

      While I agree with the concept that this is compelled speech, I also agree that it is a difficult thing to fight.

      I’m not sure where we go from here. Lawmakers certainly don’t seem to care and don’t want to be labeled as soft on sex offenders.

    • #41752 Reply
      Avatar
      Hawkeye

      Florida has similar ID and DL laws. Sex offenders have the F.S. 943.0435 stamped on DL or ID and Sexual Predators have “Sexual Pedator” stamped in red. Identification is supposed to be checked when visiting a school or daycare facility and/or checking out a child from school or daycare etc. Most schools and daycares in Florida have the ability to scan your ID or DL and it will pull your sex offender status. If they do not have the technology or it’s not working, the designation on the identification can alert staff and or law enforcement.

    • #42063 Reply
      Avatar
      Snoopy

      Maybe I’m wrong here, but shouldn’t they also have options for MURDERER, and CAR THIEF in red letters on your license as well?

      Ya know, in case that person is pulled over by the police and is in a um, borrowed car….

      Or the car is theirs, but there’s something in the center of a rolled up carpet, or maybe they should look in the barrel of acid in the back of the truck…

      Why is it WE are picked on so much…

    • #43239 Reply
      Avatar
      Hanging on by a thread

      I have been patient and complaint with this evil vindictive punishment for a crime I did not commit. If my state decides to add this to my pain my restraint will end instantly, and my wrath will be extreme.

    • #56102 Reply
      Avatar
      JZ

      The Alabamuh case Doe v Marshall was decided in February 2019. The branding was ruled unconstitutional!

      https://floridaactioncommittee.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/doe-v-marshall-10.pdf

    • #56799 Reply
      Avatar
      trib

      Has anyone successfully covered up the red sex offender on license or is it considered a no no or felony? I was a 3 from Illinois. In 2007 I was completely finished. No more reporting or registering. Came to OK and ha lived here since. They some how found me and now I am treated like I commited a crime here. I was scared but now Im mad as HELL. OK puts people in a group and tag them. I noticed in AR you at least have the opportunity to speak to a counselor after 15 years to possibly be removed from registering. I have turned my life around and happily married , well I was until this .

    • #70538 Reply
      Avatar
      CRAIG

      SOME SEX OFFENDER EVEN THOUGH MY HAVE BEEN ON A CHILD DOSE NOT MAKE THEM A PEDOFILE. MINE WAS ON A FAMILY MEMBER. WITCH I DID NOT DO BUT DID 15YRS FOR BEEN FREE FOR 3 NOW TRYING TO GET THE MONYE TO FIGHT TO WORK TO GET THINGS FIXED. BUT HARD AS HELL TO DO.AND ALL SEX OFFENDERS DONT SEX OFFENDE AFTER THEY GET OUT. THEY DONT MAKE CHILD KILLERS REGISTER.

    • #71089 Reply
      Avatar
      Pamela Williamson

      You are exactly right! Take a taxi, uber, lyft, have your wife, girl friend , brother. Sister, neighbor. co-worker, etc give you ride, if you can afford a driver hire one, but don’t pay for this crap!

    • #74887 Reply
      Avatar
      Jack

      In response to Jim Kaufman
      LOL I am sorry to laugh but that was funny right there. I about fell out of my chair while spitting my coffee all over the keyboard.
      BTW I agree with you. The only people that should be for is for law enforcement and they can find that info when they scan your license through a reader when you get pulled over.

      When I use to work, I had to get a CDL ( Commercial license ) to make deliveries. When I gave them my old license, she saw the statue #’s and yelled out to her supervisor asking her what they meant. The supervisor yelled out across the room of 250 people waiting on their license “That means he is a sexual offender”. I had to have security escort me to my car.

    • #75955 Reply
      Avatar
      erich raulfestone

      And if you dont do here in AZ its a FELONY!!! It doesnt matter WHO is paying for it. I only have one felony and aim to keep it that way. For those of you who listen to this nonsense to break the law, go ahead, Ill be on the outside enjoying my freedom while i watch IDIOTS who follow this line of BS to break the law get hauled in!!!

Viewing 19 reply threads
Reply To: Today they stamped “sex offender” on my driver’s license
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points provided that they stay on topic - keeping in mind...

  • *You must be 18 or older to comment.
  • *You must check the "I am not a robot" box and follow the recaptcha instructions.
  • *Your submission must be approved by a NARSOL moderator.
  • *Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • *Comments arguing about political or religious preferences will be deleted.
  • *Excessively long replies will be rejected, without explanation.
  • *Be polite and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • *Do not post in ALL CAPS.
  • *Stay on topic.
  • *Do not post contact information for yourself or another person.
  • *Please enter a name that does not contain links to other websites.

  • *DO NOT POST LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES
Your information:





<a href="" title="" rel="" target=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <pre class=""> <em> <strong> <del datetime="" cite=""> <ins datetime="" cite=""> <ul> <ol start=""> <li> <img src="" border="" alt="" height="" width="">