I've often wondered how useful these databases truly are, like driver licenses and automotive registrations. I had a discussion once where the need for driver licenses came up. I think it had something to do with illegal immigrants driving. So I thought I do some searching on the internet on how many people drove without licenses. The truth is that no one knows and very few people have enough information to even estimate it. There could be 10 million unlicensed drivers out there, give or take about 40 million.
What is clear is that unlicensed drivers tend to get in more accidents. This is not surprising. People with a habit of drink driving will eventually lose their license or die trying. Those that are lucky enough to survive having their license revoked will simply drive without a license. There is no requirement to have a license to drive to own a car. I'm not even sure one needs a license to insure the car either, not that a lack of insurance is going to stop these people.
Now we see police officers abusing these databases for their own personal amusement or enrichment. I say we just get rid of the licenses.
The question then inevitably comes up, if we don't license drivers then how do we (the state, the public, whatever) know that people (you know, not me and you, those other people) know how to drive. I say that every day is a driving test, people that fail will be pulled over by law enforcement. Those that are repeat offenders get noted in a database, and if serious enough of an offense they get put in jail. I just said "database" didn't I? Yes, I did. The database is only of offenders, not all drivers. What if a person gets in an accident or causes problems, how will we know who they are? Same way we do it now when people drive without a license. We can ask them their name. If that's not good enough then ask for some identifying document, like a voter registration card (which in my mind is about the only thing honest citizens need a photo ID for). If that's not good enough then haul them to the station, take their picture, take their fingerprints, and make them sit in a cell until all the paperwork goes through.
What about commercial drivers? Do you want the people driving school buses to not have licenses? What of people hauling radioactive waste? I can imagine quite the competitive business in issuing driving certificates, the local community college does this already as I see their trucks on the interstate with a big yellow "STUDENT DRIVER" sign on the trailer and tractor. If a shady certificate agency is issuing certificates in bad faith then they will lose customers real quick. When it comes to people driving for the government there are driving schools run by government agencies already, like the military driving school at Fort Leonard Wood. I'm not sure how that works but anyone that graduates from there gets the equivalent of a commercial driver license. If it's really that important then we already have the schools and certifications for it. For people driving themselves and their family they should not need a license.
Another note on the driving education, the local community college offers classes for passenger vehicles too. I saw four different course types on their website, commercial, "drivers ed" (two kinds here, "high school" and "AARP"), RV training, and "mandated" (as in people with OWI that are court ordered to take a class). It's not like there is a lack of driver training. What's going to force people to take the training if we don't have licensing? How about not getting pulled over for not obeying the traffic laws? As if there is any enforcement now. Remember where I started? Nobody knows how many unlicensed drivers there are now. This might be because the unlicensed drivers are VERY careful and don't want to get pulled over. The safest drivers out there are probably the guys with brownish skin and just downed a pint at the pub. Yep, I just played the "driving while brown" card.
Everyone uses the DMV as to show the peak of government inefficiency, get rid of it. How are all of those people pushing papers about, issuing little pieces of plastic with a barely recognizable photo keeping us safe? Turn it over to the private sector, it's not like we aren't more than halfway there already, and then instead of our taxes paying for paper pushers we hire more traffic enforcement. No more police abusing the database, we reduce the number of paper pushers in government, no more standing in line at the DMV. I'm finding it hard to see a downside here.