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OK: Today, They Stamped “Sex Offender” on My Driver’s License

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 undoubtedly 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 also 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.

by Michael M.
Editor, RegistryReport.org

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This has to go before SCOTUS at some point. As kuch as all SORNA policies get compared to Nazi policies, the branding of a citizen on their identification solely for the purpose of public scrutiny is literally what the Nazis used to do to opressed demographics.

If I were you, I would show that license off everywhere I could. Ask people what they think about it and if they indicate in any way that they approve of it, you should nicely tell them that they are not an American, should go F themselves, and have a terrible day. I go out of my way to be unkind to anyone who supports this harassment. We all need to remember that we have nothing to be ashamed of. People who support the $EX Offender Registries do. They are idiotic, backwards, immoral criminals. These attacks are criminal acts of… Read more »

Actually, that WOULD make for an excellent undercover video documentary. Getting reactions on clerks and bouncers would be priceless.

And….this is a problem from my prospective….these sick people convicted get a slap on the wrist,while anything drug related gets you am extended stay. I’ve been dealing with addiction for over 20 years,but NEVER felt compelled to even think about anything sexual with a kid. I don’t get why this sick shit,adults fooling with kids,is suppose to be so damn socially acceptable. Makes me sick!

@EburgChris: and you think your drug addition is somehow better?

dont commit a sex crime and be placed on the registry then….the public has every right to know when a monster is in their presence.

@jen: What a stupid, trite, simplistic statement. Someone pointed out recently that dumb statements such as yours are exactly similar to telling George Floyd not to try to use fake $20 bills if they don’t want to be murdered by the police. And that is 100% correct. People who make statements like yours aren’t exactly geniuses. The public has absolutely no right at all to know where people who have committed a sex crime live, work, go, or anything else. None. Is that not obvious even to a genius such as yourself? If there was a right, then I would… Read more »

@Will Allen:
With so many horrible neighbors, you really should think about moving…. Maybe there’s a spot near @jen.

Jen – You seem to just speak out of hurt, but you have not really educated yourself about this topic. Why should the public be more concerned about a sex offender and where he/ she lives than the murderer, drug dealer, bank robber, DUI offender…the list goes on. Most sex offenses or other offenses for that matter, are committed by someone who has never done anything like this before. So, we technically don’t know if you will be a future offender and should know about your past? Read the book “3 felonies a day”, and you will see that it’s… Read more »

@jen: How many monsters are in your presence of which you’re unaware? How many “monsters to-be” are you near? And who exactly is a monster? Is the drug dealer? Is the arsonist? Is the repeated DUI driver? Do you have a right to know where they are? Even if you have this supposed right, just what are you doing with it? Have you taken ANY steps to change your behavior(s) in response to this info for which you claim a right? Or are you just playing Chicken Little with all the other soccer moms in the neighborhood who have nothing… Read more »

Have to wonder if Millard could have any positive impact on those in OK who are within the Tenth Circuit’s Area of Responsibly…

I hope so…similar principle with a different item. As much as you need to show your ID/DL these days, makes me wonder “If….”

Sorry to hear it. I dread this happening in California.

I’m curious to know what would be considered an “agravated” sex offense.

To be considered an “aggravated offender”, all one has to do is to touch another inappropriately – generally, breasts or genitalia. That’s why 85% of Oklahomans on the registry are listed as aggravated. Even if it’s an accident, such as wrestling around. All the person being touched, even accidently, has to do is complain to law enforcement. Doesn’t matter if its a child or an adult. As long as the district attorney is elected by popular vote and law enforcement officers earn promotions based on arrests and conviction rates, this will continue. Call it “the perfect storm.” Society assumes the… Read more »

Mine. 1st offense. No priors. Lewd or indecent proposal/acts to a minor under 16. I was in communication with a cop posing as a 14 year old on Craigslist. A site and section of that site that you have to confirm you are 18 or older and portraying someone 18 or older. But either way, we spoke of meeting. I was heavy into alcohol at the time. Mentioned that in the conversation. They end up asking me where I work, live, how much money I make, what kind of car I drive. That threw up red flags for me. So… Read more »

This is a terrible thing. I wonder what justification the state used to pass this law? Whatever it is, it is bull. No matter what the state says, the real reason has got to be to shame, humiliate, retaliate against, and to punish the ex-offender.

It would be hard to live with that.

I think it’s mostly for psychological torture, or to just make sure they get known wherever they go and for whatever reason. I think it’s also to ensure that the police will be considerably less likely to let someone off on a traffic stop. Ever since this law went into effect, I’ve noticed my ex’s number of traffic violations have skyrocketed. It’s not that he’s committed more traffic violations, but rather now when he shows the cop his license, they don’t give a warning, just cite him, which means it shows up on the online court docket. I almost feel… Read more »

lol…yet my son has to live with the fact that he was molested by his uncle. sorry, not sorry

If your son thinks Registries are acceptable, then I don’t care at all.

People are molested. I’m praying that all future molestation victims are “people” who think Registries are acceptable. The perpetrators also. That is moral and appropriate.

Love the hate. Wage war.

It is a messed up thing that happened to your kid. You’re looking at it like the majority of America. We are all your uncle in your eyes. Although it is unfair way of thinking I’m glad you mentioned it. We are all as bad as the worst one out there. That’s how society sees us. Vigilante thinking is what fuels the opposition. No changing that. What’s the solution? There isn’t one. That the problem.

@jen:
Explain how a registry could’ve or should’ve stopped what happened. Your unfortunate story succinctly sums up the futility of registries. If uncle was on there, the registry did no good. If he wasn’t on there, the registry had you (metaphorically) looking out the window instead of in your own backyard. Either way, it offered no protection.

Ask any expert in abuse of minors where the lion’s share of instances come from and they will tell you those near the victim (family, teachers, clergy, neighbors) and not some stranger (i.e. someone on the registry who you don’t know).

Well, what makes common sense and what many (most?) Registry Supporters/Terrorists believe is that if this uncle had been listed, then people would have been aware that he did something bad in the past and might in the future. So they maybe would’ve considered protecting the victim a little bit, instead of not. That does make sense to me. However, that’s stupid. The simple fact is, and this case obviously absolutely proves it, that people must watch EVERYONE. That is the ONLY way to actually protect anyone. If whomever was the caretaker of this victim had actually been supervising the… Read more »

@jen

Only one person molested your son…his uncle. Your brother maybe? An in-law?

We are NOT his uncles so stop your revenge trip on people who had nothing to do with your son. Stop projecting his tragedy on Registrants.

@Jen I’m sorry about your boy, but I’m not your uncle’s keeper and I shouldn’t be punished for it. I spent years in prison and on the registry for never touching or communicating with a child. Money that could have been better spent on educating families like yours on the subtle signs of sexual abuse and incest plaguing families. Because a public sex offender registry didn’t prevent what happened to your son. My prayers go out to you.

Wow, the fact they stamp “sex offender” on someone’s driver’s license is absurd. I sure hope that doesn’t come to California…

I still think there’s a decent compelled speech case about this topic, if one uses Maynard v. Wooley (license plates). Marking one’s ID/DL certainly is not the least restrictive and most narrowly tailored method of getting the State’s public safety message out. Heck, the State doesn’t even have control over how, when or if the message gets out, since a RC could avoid all situations requiring its use! There’s also Smith to consider here. No longer is “the notification system is a passive one” as in Smith. A citizen is bombarded by the information the moment a RC shows his/her… Read more »

“No longer is “the notification system is a passive one” as in Smith. A citizen is bombarded by the information the moment a RC shows his/her ID/DL.”

you could say the same thing IRT the marking of passports due to IML

@Political Prisoner:
you could say the same thing IRT the marking of passports due to IML
—–
Absolutely! However the ubiquity and necessity of IDs/DLs relative to a passport doesn’t come close to comparing. Nobody is required to have a passport; however some sort of government-issued ID is needed for many things in everyday life. And in some states, RCs *are* required to have special state-issued IDs…on them, no less.

That all said, a win on the DL/ID claim would bolster any passport argument.

Seems the best avenue to take would be go after this id law then use the case (assuming we win) to bolster the iml lawsuit

There is an answer to the problem of having to have a stamped “Sex Offender” to your license…get a duel residency in another state! I am from Texas and due to my mother living in Texas I find myself often living there part of the year. I am not required to register as a sex offender in the state of Texas (non-SORNA state) so I opted to get a Texas driver’s license and tags for my car. If I was the person in Oklahoma I’d certainly consider the dual residency option. Dealing with bullies in 3 ways 1) appease then… Read more »

Please be VERY CAREFUL about this. Like Nevada, Texas is VERY strict on registry compliance, and if you have any residence identification in Texas, they require you to register if you have had to register elsewhere at ANY time, EVEN if you are off the registry in that state NOW! This has been confirmed with an associate of mine who stays here in California for that very reason. If you are stopped in Texas for any reason, for instance, that can trigger a huge FTR felony. Of course, you can “try” to use your SEX OFFENDER-labeled license from your original… Read more »

Does anyone know if they’re doing this in florida yet? I have to renew my license in a few months, and I already have the statute indicator on mine but I’ve also procrastinated and am fearful of having to get mine renewed as well

How awful. Imagine if you are lucky enough to land a good job (no background check) and then the employer asks “I’ll need to make a copy of your Drivers License and SS# for our records”.

Don’t need to imagine ! It has been happening all alot ! And much more than copies ! The lady spoke loudly to the whole dmv …..we have another one here ! When my hubby got his renewed and paid extra $ forced by Alabama !

@Trish:
The lady spoke loudly to the whole dmv …..we have another one here !
—–
To which the proper reply is, “may I speak with a supervisor please?” Perhaps the supervisor can explain why your hubby’s personal business gets broadcast and nobody else’s does.

These types of things are all about trying to get the upper hand on someone, i.e. shaming. However if you push back and act completely normal, or even a little on offense (i.e. supervisor request), these type of people start to shrink and shrivel. When they try to shame, push back.

Sorry ! AJ …..the lady was covered by co workers ! Discrimination is not easily dealt with ! The law allows and promotes these situations ! Pushing back is a loss cause when they have power ! I know when to take a stand ! Just like I said about passports ….you must surrender them , they give them back when they are finished with them, tracking and updating and it is irrelevant you have old ones after forced to take new ones! They control system and situation and you can’t argue ! Another example how bad situations are in… Read more »

@NoTrish: I’m not saying resist, I’m saying exert your right to the same treatment of all others when conducting business with the State. Bureaucrats *hate* getting attention drawn to their improper activities. Yes, that can mean some backlash, but it can also mean making them sit up straight and behave. Had the clerk been engaged, and the supervisor engaged, they’d both know they need to do their work properly. If no change, you go to the supervisor’s supervisor, and so on. Having spent a bit of time intimately involved with bureaucrats and their ways, it does work. Eventually there’s a… Read more »

When the judges finally catch up with reality, there is going to be a big restitution due to those disabled by these willful acts of hatred.

How is the hell is this anything to do with public safety. It is public shaming by a bunch of nazis in the asylum they call the state legislature. My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to those affected and afflicted with this extreme measure of cruelty and depraved indifference.

We are all ” so much more than a few meaningless words on a license.”
Don’t give it another thought, how often do any of us or anyone else for that matter, ever look at our licenses?
Just live your life.

You may not be really aware of how often you have to present your DL for ID until your faced with having to show a marked one. Banks, doctors, hospitals, hotels, car dealers, tool or vehicle rental businesses, and more want to see your DL for identification. You often have to show it or a photocopy of it when applying for loans, a mortgage, writing a check at the grocery store, buying tobacco or liquor products, etc. You’ll have to show ID to engage in many activities that have age or residency requirements, or to get a Costco or Sam’s… Read more »

Not all these places require the ID/DL to be unexpired; they merely want a government-issued document saying you are who you claim to be, what your DOB is, and/or to match signatures. A helpful tactic would be to get a duplicate/replacement license sometime prior to having to get the marked renewal. Then on renewal day turn in the replacement, keeping your original as a handy (expired) ID. The times you actually need an unexpired ID are fewer than one would expect. And if you need an unexpired document, a passport–even a marked one–or a passport card will suffice.

AJ is right. Time too be creative and legally skirt whatever bs they throw at us. Get a state ID card.

@AJ, I agree, that would be a good tactic to use whenever possible. Worth a shot, at least.

Off topic a little, but I wonder what is encoded in those mag stripes on the back of the DL, in the states that have them? Does anyone know? About the only place that I can recall having my driver’s license swiped through a mag stripe reader is at the pharmacy whenever I buy OTC medicines that contain certain decongestant ingredients. Claritin-D is an example. They never actually look at my ID. They just swipe it and had it back to me.

@AJ

Good idea. As long as the hole punched VOID is not in the ID/DL, the expiration date will most likely not be noticed. It is good to lose your ID/DL, get a replacement and then find the lost ID/DL. A second one can be priceless.

@CR: I recall seeing something about this some time back (as in years) when the REAL ID crap was coming about. There were a number of states that balked at it, concerned it was going to become a national ID card (which it essentially is). Anyway, from what I recall, the stuff that’s encoded in the mag stripe is pretty much the stuff on the front of the card. There may be some other ID number or such for LEOs’ benefit with their in-car laptops, but otherwise I believe it’s basic info. ===== @TS: As long as the hole punched… Read more »

AL already, stopped this….! Law states, you must sign a sworn affidavit at dmv saying you have relinquished all former ids and you will be fined and imprisoned for violating SORNA and Federal, State laws !

This is absurd ….. especially when schools can now use technology that instantly scans DLs and will identify any Registrant. There’s absolutely no reason it should be printed on any DL except for the sole intention of shaming the license holder. 😡

It is unconscionable for the State of Oklahoma to add a Scarlet Letter to registrants’ drivers licenses! There are so many times when a driver’s license can be required as ID and I can’t think of even one reason when the person who asks for ID has a “need to know” that person is a registrant. This is also compelled speech and should be challenged in the Oklahoma courts.

If CA ever did this, I’d have to give up cigarettes and alcohol. No one wants to have to show the store clerk a “marked” ID. Although I feel comfortable that ACSOL would be able to stop this from happening. Plus, where would CA get the money to update 100,000+ ID’s? Especially after they just updated all their CDL equipment and software.

Janice Bellucci,
Fl. puts the statue number on DL. Lic. and i been saying for years that it’s compelled speech. Janice Bellucci PLEASE COME AND MOVE TO FLORIDA AND HELP US PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

If that were to happen in CA , i would deface my drivers license where it stated ‘sex offender’. If they make me get a new one then I would also deface that one as well and keep doing it. Js

If you travel, good luck trying to get a hotel/motel room with that on your license.

smfh..

Lively discussion on this topic at the National level organization’s website. Had to leave a comment with the Maynard v Wooley case suggestion.

What website is that, please?

@CR

NARSOL website

Thanks @AJ for the court case to cite

@TS: You’re quite welcome. Also key to the whole 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… Read more »

Thanks @AJ

I am sure, and am hopeful, those who are marked this way will come out and band together to fight this marking. If they do, I can see it going to the Tenth Circuit in Denver also since OK is part of their region.

I may be off here, but I believe this could be a class action suit based upon compelled speech?? If they waited, then they may start hearing of damages towards people once IDs/DLs are used.

@TS:
I may be off here, but I believe this could be a class action suit based upon compelled speech??
—–
A single affected person filing suit facially challenging its constitutionality should suffice.

AL already, stopped this….! Law states, you must sign a sworn affidavit at dmv saying you have relinquished all former ids and you will be fined and imprisoned for violating SORNA and Federal, State laws !

Can somebody please remind me why don’t those convicted of a drug offense have “Drug Dealer” stamped on their driver’s license… even if that offense was 20 years ago? After all, they pose an even greater risk to Public Safety as they have a much higher recidivism rate. And how about “Drunk Driver”?? They may have been convicted once 10 years ago, but they still should have it stamped on their license as if they are – each time the license is presented – under the influence/intoxicated. Again, much higher rate of recidivism and also a significant public safety risk.… Read more »

I agree David,
So quick you take things away from us and replace them with restrictions and burdensome rules that only apply to our group.
I’ve thought about pushing for others with a criminal record to be forced to enjoy what we must endure in hopes that we would eventually have a large enough group of pissed off ppl to create some real pushback. Tho I’m my heart of hearts, I know what our government is doing is wrong and I wouldn’t want to give them anymore citizens to throw into the fire.

So sorry to hear you going thru that. Yes, it seems just about the time you start to feel human again, something comes up and knocks you right back down.

Does anyone know if you have to have the label on your drivers license even if you no longer have to register? I know someone who didn’t have to register anymore because of the supreme court abolishing the retroactive registration requirement, but he doesn’t know if he’ll still have to keep it on his license.

GT, Aug. 1, 2020

The question is: And I have mentioned it before, How can the attorney general one man be given the power to break the Constitution when congress does not have the power to pass these laws.

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