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DE: HB306 is purely punitive

House Bill 306 is before the Delaware Legislature. For the 4,500-plus Delawareans who appear on the state Sex Offender Registry, the proposed legislation changes the restrictions designation on the front of their driver’s license from the current “Y” to “SO.” The bill retains the words “sex offender” that already appear on the back of licenses.

HB306 proposes nothing to make the public safer. Delaware driver’s licenses use federally compliant standards, and law enforcement technology provides immediate knowledge of a person’s registry status without relying on any specific license designation. HB306 is purely punitive.

We show our driver’s licenses at many places like pharmacies, doctor’s offices and banks. Employees of such places have no need to know if someone appears on the registry. HB306 will discourage those individuals from accessing important services. HB306 will only encourage public shaming for individuals who have already been punished, and discourage them from successful reintegration into society, a key component of preventing further offenses.


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