Gruters Introduces Bill Requiring Driver's Licenses to Showcase Citizenship Status

Gruters Introduces Bill Requiring Driver's Licenses to Showcase Citizenship Status

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
January 3, 2024

State Senator Joe Gruters (R-FL) has introduced legislation labeled SB 1168 – relating to forms of identification. While one of the main focuses of the bill is to expand the acceptable forms of ID for voter registration to include “United States passport cards, identification cards issued by a federally recognized tribal nation or Indian tribe, and United States Merchant Mariner Credentials,” the other (and perhaps more controversial) focus of the bill includes denoting a citizen’s status on their driver’s license.

The bill text reads:

“Licenses issued to individuals who submitted any of the documents required pursuant to s.322.08 (2) (c)5., 7., or 8. must include ‘NC’ to denote that such individual is a noncitizen.”

For those who are citizens and are concerned that they’ll have to renew their driver’s license, SB 1168 also states that “The following forms of identification are considered current and valid if they contain the name and photograph of the applicant and have not expired:

  • United States passport or passport card.
  • Debit or credit card.
  • Military identification.
  • Student identification.

As well as a multitude of other forms of identification.

SB 1168 has a companion in H 1101 which was introduced by State Representative Lauren Melo (R-FL).

State Sen. Gruters is no stranger to controversy, however.

In June, Gruters (R-FL) has recently claimed Gov. DeSantis intentionally vetoed several Sarasota County projects because he endorsed former President Donald Trump (R) for his White House bid.

"The Governor is clearly upset I endorsed Donald Trump for President, and so he took it out on the people of Sarasota County," said Sen. Gruters.

He believes that Gov. DeSantis removed efforts to rebuild Midnight Pass, relocate a fire station, and widen Fruitville Road, as well as a list of other things through the line-item veto from the "Framework for Freedom” budget due to his endorsement of Trump.

"Simply because I support his political opponent, the governor chose to punish ordinary Floridians who want better water quality, less traffic congestion, and increased resources for disabled children to find gainful employment. It's mean-spirited acts like this that are defining him here and across the country," Gruters concluded.

This is a developing story.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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