Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The hidden cost of ID cards - and driving licenses

It was a bit late in life that I eventually passed my driving test. The reasons were complicated. A bit of renegade environmentalism, a bit of personal economics and a bit of fear. By the time I passed the photo license had been introduced and as much as I may have objected to having one there was no visible national resistance - as there is against ID cards now.

Ten years down the line and I have just received a license renewal form. I have to provide a new photo - even though the photo on the license is so small (22mm x 17mm) and foggy (it looks like it was printed on a first generation inkjet printer) and that I any wrinkles I may have accumulated are clearly invisible. I had no hair then and I have not been using any hair restorer nor have I resorted to follicle implants.

I don't remember being told (when I wasn't given the choice about having a photo license) that it was going to have to be renewed every ten years - nor, more significantly, that it was going to cost £20 every time.

I've long cautioned about objecting to the introduction of ID cards on the grounds of cost - it would be so simple to placate such objections by simply saying that instead of charging £100 they can be had for £25. Many objectors would then say, 'actually, that sounds quite reasonable' and roll over to be shafted by the tool of the police state under the impression that they were getting a bargain.

But it should be noted by those who may not object to an affordable tyranny that it may well be unknowingly sold to them on the never-never.

1 comment:

  1. If you think the cost of having to carry a form of ID at all times is high, you should see the price of some of the staff card software that's out there. You wouldn't believe what some of these people are charging!