Andrew Cochran, Registrar, City of Roanoke
To Drive or to Vote?
There exists a misguided paradigm that a Virginia driver’s license exists only for a singular purpose. Driver’s licenses are issued in Virginia to convey that the user has met a standard to determine their qualification to drive. At expiration of a Driver’s License the driver’s qualification to drive must be renewed, sometimes through reassessment.
If a person is stopped by police and determined to have an expired driver’s license, that person is given a ticket. Even though the person has an expired driver’s license, there is no question that their expired driver’s license will be used for identification purposes in issuing the person whose identity matches the picture on the license a ticket. The expired license still identifies the person. The status of expiration simply means the driver should not be driving. For voting purposes, we are not asking voters to demonstrate their driving ability. An expired photo ID is still appropriate for the purposes of identifying a person. Expired license for driving purposes…NO. Expired license for identification of a voter…YES!