Stories such as the Guardian's "Driving Miss Crazy" (bravo, headline writer), point out a curiosity: On driver's licenses issued by Britain's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), women's licenses automatically include courtesy titles - that is, "Miss," "Mrs." or "Ms." The blokes? Theirs do not say "Mr."
The licenses of men or women may show honorifics such as "Dr." or "Rev." (But here's a question: Does Prime Minister Theresa May's license say "Mrs."? What does your license say if you're a princess?)
This practice goes on despite a lawmaker first bringing it to the DVLA's attention seven years ago, and despite the fact it apparently runs afoul of Britain's equality laws.
"When it comes to titles on driving licenses," said the lawmaker, Zoe O'Connell, "why should someone need to know if I'm married?"
Authorities have declined to fully explain this. The DVLA says women may check the "No Title" option on the license application - it's the next-to-last choice out of eight checkboxes. But that didn't work for scientist Elin Roberts. After she asked for no title but got one, she tweeted the DVLA to ask if her license could be changed and got this reply: "The purpose of the title is to allow the system to determine the male or female format of the driver number." The agency insisted there was no way to change it.
Which contrasts with the agency's suggested course of action to another woman: "If you do not wish your licence to display a title, send your current licence with a covering letter requesting it be removed."
So even if that process works, it means women have to go through more paperwork and hassle than men - the bureaucratic equivalent of Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. Wonder what was on Ginger's license.