Anitra Smith (anitra) wrote,
Anitra Smith

REAL ID law being put into effect (but with a postponment)

nightskyre posted about this a little already, but I want to add my two cents in my own forum.

Wall Street Journal article on the new REAL ID extensions/modifications

I didn't realize the REAL ID bill had ever actually been passed and made into law. Guess I wasn't following the news all that closely in May of 2005. The original law would have mandated full compliance this year - they've now extended it to 2011 (for people under 50, and longer for those over 50) to reduce the burden on the state governments.

I have no problem with making a license (or name change, etc) a bit harder to get. In Massachusetts, I didn't have to show any documentation at all to get my name changed on my license (I had my marriage license with me, but they never asked for it). This seems just a teensy bit insecure. Maybe it's just me.

But a national database is unlikely to help much. I've already seen the problems my husband gets into from having a very common name - we always go to the airport early (TSA watchlist), he's had to clear up multiple drivers-license conflicts (same name and birthday, different state, had lots of tickets that were causing his license to be revoked). I fully expect that we'll run into Social Security problems too, if we ever try to collect. These are just the mundane reasons why a national database is a bad idea - I'm not even going to get into the security issues and Big-Brother-esque feeling this gives me.

There are a surprising number of states in opposition to this law. According to Wikipedia, the following states have passed legislation opposing Real ID: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.

Bills opposing Real ID are also pending in: Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

That's 3/5 of the states in the union! How are they ever going to get this law to be effective?

(As an aside: It cracks me up that D.C. is against this. You know the federal government has a bad idea when the local government of the seat of the nation is diametrically opposed to it.)

  1. What do the people from non-compliant states use? Will a passport be accepted?
  2. What will (under 16) minors or other non-drivers use? Again, would a passport be accepted? Will any minor traveling unaccompanied need a passport from now on?

I can't see any reason why a passport shouldn't be accepted as ID in place of a driver's license (except in the case of driving violations, of course) - it's already a federal system, there are already processes in place to issue them to minors, and they're already used for travel. But what do I know? The federal government is screwy.
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