Legislation introduced in Rhode Island that would require the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to mark the driver’s licenses and plates of residents with autism spectrum disorder has sparked criticism from some individuals, who argue that it will lead to increased discrimination and stigma. The proposed law would allow for an autism decal to be placed on a vehicle, as well as a blue envelope to be kept inside the car, including methods to enhance communication between the driver and law enforcement. The markings would be voluntary, according to the bill’s sponsor Rep. Samuel Azzinaro. Connecticut has passed similar legislation, but their version of the bill doesn’t include markings on driver’s licenses or plates. While the Westerly Police Chief is in favor of the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island (ACLU) and several autistic residents are opposed, citing potential harassment from law enforcement. The bill has been held for further study.

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