Driver's License Changes

Proposed driver's license changes

A common piece of identification is a driver's license.  Beneficial additions should be made to the drivers's license that could save lives:

1. Indicate license holder's blood type.  This would aid in a worse case scenario of minimizing shock and aiding the medical community.

2. Indicate any severe allergies or medicines taken regularly.  Examples of this are allergies to drugs like penicillin or being on blood thinners.  This information would help clarify treatment protocols. 

I implore our local representatives to the state house and senate to submit this as proposed legislation.  This information must be voluntary.  The current Massachusetts license has a spot indicating if you are an organ donor in the lower right.  There is no reason, within reasonable software costs, similar spots couldn't be used to indicate the proposed information.

Given recent news about 'data mining', concerns about identification on the driver's license being abused is moot, since the horse has left the barn when the barn door were left open. 

Remember the Commonwealth will not inform you if your license is approaching the renewal date.  Check your license.  Also, get a state issued license number in lieu of your Social Security number.  

As a final note, for those of us who remember where we were when we heard JFK was assassinated, which will generate print space as we approach the 50th 'anniversary',  we can only laugh at the privacy concerns as our issued Social Security cards indicate 'Not for Identification' and the same number is used for Medicare accounts.  If Congress was serious about privacy issues, it would take immediate action on the number used to identify Medicare accounts.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jim Stratton June 23, 2013 at 06:05 PM
How would the Registry be able to determine/confirm that data with any degree of certainty?
Paul Tress June 23, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Good point. For example, suppose someone has indicated a wrong blood type and there are medical consequences. Who is liable? I'm not a lawyer so I have no idea. I wonder what occurs if someone currently indicates they are an organ donor but it is against their family wishes or inconsistent with a living will or similar document?
Virginia Chadbourne June 24, 2013 at 05:53 PM
I don't want my medical information printed on my license - nor my child's, or my senior parents - for any and all to see. My license is used for identification everywhere - the grocery clerk doesn't need to know about my medications, and my blood type is none of the TSA's business - not to mention the crook who finds it when I lose it, who might want to steal a prescription. Too many people love to exploit weaknesses in others, especially seniors and young adults just starting out in the world. However, there are a couple of options for people who need to display important information like blood thinners. 1) put a white label on your license with the data - there is room on the back where the registry would put your address change sticker 2) Put the data on a card in your wallet and keep it with your license - EMTs DO look for that 3) there are nifty little data devices at the drugstore near the Medic-Alert displays, that are essentially USB data drives made into bracelets with the medical alert symbol on them. They come with a standard medical record format to fill in, and EMTs and Emergency Room staff know about them. Medical caregivers can plug them into their computers (yes, even in the ambulance) and get the information they need to take care of you.
Virginia Chadbourne June 24, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Paul, wishes like organ donation should be discussed before we die. The living will always win out when the dead are no longer able to speak for themselves, especially if you signed a medical power of attorney.
Virginia Chadbourne June 24, 2013 at 05:56 PM
No thanks on putting my medical info on a public document like a drivers license. I have a wallet card - and when I need more, there are bracelets with electronic medical records you can wear. Those can't be read by every TSA agent and grocery clerk...
Paul Tress June 24, 2013 at 06:43 PM
I agree organ donations should be discussed. In general, I am surprised at the number of people who don't have designated power of attorney and living wills, let alone the number of people who have children and don't have a general will. As for your identification comment, I agree, and this is the reason it should be voluntary and not compulsory on a license.
Paul Tress June 25, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Thanks for indicating the options to make this information available. I was not aware that EMTs look for such information and the USB devices.
Virginia Chadbourne June 25, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Sorry about the repetition - Patch said my first comment was rejected - I assumed because it was too long (I do get wordy...) so I re-entered the important stuff in a more brief form.
Paul Tress June 25, 2013 at 06:04 PM
No problem. Thanks for the comments.
Anna Bucciarelli October 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM
Blood type, maybe OK ... allergies too. Medications? I'm not sure. But like Virginia, I have that all recorded on a card I carry in my wallet and hope that if the need arises it will serve. BTW, Paul and others, we will again (thank the Lord) be advised via mail when our licenses are due to expire. Guess it caused so many to forgo renewing on time (ME), it was decided by Maryann Caprillian to reinstitute the mail advisory.


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