Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This question is for the women out there:
How much do you weigh? Really?
What does your driver's license say you weigh? Are the numbers even close?
According to a story in the Washington Post, most people lie, and lie bad, on the document that is the "cornerstone of our security these days." Why then, do states ask for weight as an identifying factor?
"...why is it enshrined on so many driver's licenses? Why are state motor vehicle departments mindlessly promoting such widespread mendacity? I mean, why bother?"
Forty states ask for a person's weight so they can post it on a document for all to scrutinize. It's supposed to help law enforcement and security people determine if you are you. But what about the woman who renewed her license by mail, when she weighed 117 pounds more than the weight listed on the official document?
Now, here's a question for the men out there:
How tall are you? Really?
How tall does your driver's license say you are?
Apparently, many men lie about their height, boosting it by an inch or more.
Which sums up, basically, what a driver's license says about you, according to Tony Falsetti, a researcher at California State University. "That we're all very tall and very thin."
Hm. I wonder if the Real ID document is going to ask people for their height and weight? If it truly is to be an unimpeachment security document, someone better think about bringing people in to get them weighed and measured by a neutral party.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.