Oklahoma bill would eliminate fingerprinting from driver's license process

Feb. 12, 2009
Senate bill would prevent state from capturing biometric data connected with licenses

Feb. 11--OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fingerprints may soon no longer be required for those seeking a driver's license.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 289 by Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso. It now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The measure, dubbed "The Religious Freedom and Privacy Protection Act of 2009," would prevent the state from collecting, obtaining or retaining "any biometric data" in connection with motor vehicle registration or driver's licenses.

Biometric data includes fingerprints, palmprints, facial feature pattern characteristics and other identifying information.

The bill also bans the sharing of information previously collected or distributed and requires the deletion of such information from current files.

Brogdon said the information was being shared with Canada and Mexico.

"If this bill passes, that nonsense will stop," Brogdon said, adding that the federal government is trampling on states' rights.

Capt. Rusty Rhoades, legislative liaison with the Department of Public Safety, said a fingerprint is only shared when there is a court order.

Pictures are sent when there is a law enforcement request, Rhoades said. Other information, such as name and license status, is sent to valid requesting organizations or law enforcement, he said.

Brogdon said government would love to track people.

"If there is one group I don't want my biometric data transferred to, it is the federal government," Brogdon said.

Brogdon said the world is moving toward a "one world government," where political and monetary systems are being merged.

"Man, you scared me to death," said Sen. Richard Lerblance, D-Hartshorne. Lerblance pointed out that fingerprints led to the apprehension of some of the 911 terrorists who trained in the United States.

Under questioning from Sen. Johnathan Nichols, R-Norman, Brogdon said driving is a privilege and not a right.

Nichols asked whether requesting fingerprints was reasonable when someone is seeking to drive on roads built with taxpayer dollars.

Copyright (c) 2009, Tulsa World, Okla. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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