If you need any more evidence that state officials and bureaucrats are out of touch with reality, it can be found in today's Springfield News-Leader.
Apparently, Missouri Department of Revenue officials were shocked when they discovered that people would be upset by the new hoops they are being forced to jump through just to renew their driver's licenses.
"We didn't think it would be as big an issue as it has become," Department of Revenue spokeswoman Maura Browning told the News-Leader. "What we've done in the last week is make the requirements easier to understand."
She got the first part right, but she's still clueless on the second. Apparently, one change the DOR has made involves women who have remarried. They no longer will be required to bring documentation to prove each of the name changes they have gone through. All they will have to bring, according to the News-Leader article, is a Social Security card or a Medicare card.
What this proves is that when people complain, things can get done. Well, they need to keep complaining. I don't think anyone minds the effort to make sure that driver's licenses are going to people who belong here legally, but doesn't the DNR have records? Can't these records be cross-referenced with records from other agencies, without people having to dig through all kinds of documents and waiting in long lines to get their licenses? Why do they collect all of this information on us if they are not going to use it responsibly. This would definitely be a responsible use of that information.
Missourians need to keep complaining until the DOR and Governor Blunt come up with a more reasonable solution to this problem. The first resort for government is always to require more paperwork. I don't necessarily have a problem with that...but it is the government workers who should be doing it, not the people who are paying their salaries. They could spend time before sending out renewal notices checking up on people, working with other agencies to verify any information they needed to have verified. If the agencies don't want to cooperate, then the governor, the state legislature, or heaven help us, the courts, should intervene.
Then, and only then, if a problem came up, the DOR could contact the person and take care of the problem.
When people apply for a license for the first time, there should already be enough information available on those people through various government sources. If there are questions, those could be checked out.
Government should exist to serve the people not create problems for them. I know it is a novel concept, but if there is any time it should be followed, this is the time.
Do not roll over and accept this because I guarantee you if we do, this will not be the end of it.