Some questions at the DMV
It probably isn’t a good time to be inquiring about the mental health of people at the Department of Motor Vehicles – neither those gnashing their teeth as they stand in line, nor the people biting their tongues on the other side of the counter.
Nevertheless, a form for drivers renewing their licenses asks whether the applicant has suffered from a mental or emotional disorder. Marking “yes” requires an explanation.
Mental-health advocates point out that the question is both intrusive and vague. They suggest that the question be rephrased to inquire solely about disorders that may affect the driver’s ability operate a vehicle safely.
That sounds like a good compromise, although it all seems a bit too personal for a process as cold as driver license renewal.
Yes, Nevada law prohibits people with certain disabilities from receiving a license.
But the possibilities seem endless:
– Do you have a bad temper and act irrationally when someone cuts off your travel lane? If you answer yes, please indicate whether you carry a weapon in your vehicle.
– Are you a compulsive talker who can’t put down the cell phone, even for a left-hand turn through traffic?
– As a socially active person, do you believe in the “One more for the road” philosophy of tavern closings?
– Are you too stupid to use a turn signal?
– With six kids, a marriage on the rocks, the boss threatening to suspend you and gambling debts greater than your mortgage, are you so preoccupied with your problems that you are likely to miss that four-way stop completely?
And, possibly the question DMV workers these days most would like answered:
– If you have to stand in this line for 30 more minutes, what are the chances you will go berserk?