Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Sidney Crosby skips lineup for driver’s licence, miffs Pittsburgh residents

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, center, and Dr. Michael Collins, right, listen as Dr. Ted Carrick, left, describes Crosby's progress in his recovery from a concussion he suffered in January 2011 during an NHL hockey news conference in Pittsburgh on Sept. 7, 2011.

Gene J. Puskar/The Canadian Press

Should celebrities be forced to wait in long lineups to renew their driver's licenses or should being famous automatically bump them to the front of the line?

A torrid debate over whether celebrities should adhere to commoner rules has been underway in Pittsburgh ever since it was revealed that hockey superstar Sidney Crosby was recently allowed to jump the line while renewing his license.

As it turns out, there's a specific policy in Pennsylvania granting supervisors of government institutions the right to allow prominent people to cut in line. The rationale behind the policy is that the faster the famous person comes and goes, there's less chance for public pandemonium.

Story continues below advertisement

And the law was evoked for Crosby when the 26-year-old hockey superstar made his recent trip to the licensing office in the Pittsburgh suburb of Duncan Manor.

Crosby came and went from the office in the blink of an eye last Friday and few people barely noticed he was there. But some people did see Crosby and some of them are steamed.

But why did a hockey player—a Canadian-born hockey player, mind you—receive the sort of VIP treatment normally reserved for a foreign dignitary or a Kardashian family member? As might be expected, those Pittsburgh citizens who had to line up at the DMV that day were not amused.

"He should have to sit and wait with everyone else," said Susan Campbell, who spent hours in line with her daughter. "He probably should have waited," added Sherry Davis, another angry mother.

But the loudest squawking came from media outlets alternately condemning or condoning the hockey star bypassing the lineups. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette began with an editorial critiquing Crosby and the race was on.

In The Sporting News, reporter Scott Gentille argued that letting Crosby jump the line was a nod to public safety.

"Everyone at the DMV wants to get in, get out and get on with their life. It's bad enough without a swarm of people knocking over chairs to meet a hockey player. The 'he should wait like everyone else' excuse doesn't work, because he literally cannot wait like everyone else."

Story continues below advertisement

It's an intriguing off-season discussion. Crosby is the biggest sports star in Pittsburgh and any public appearance would certainly create a mob scene of fans seeking autographs, so it makes sense that he was fast-tracked by the DMV.

Then again, how would you feel if you spend five hours in line that day?

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨