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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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nan0_frog January 14th, 2008
My friend who just recently got married in September didn't have to prove her ID to the credit card company.. they just switched her name no questions asked. I think that's kind of off topic from this, but it seems we *do* need something stronger put in place as far as proving your ID goes. However, it seems the extent to which their taking it is a little off....

anitra January 14th, 2008
(Most) credit card companies are scum, anyway. They'll issue cards to pets and dead people, why would they bother checking something as minor as a name change?

I'm more concerned about not showing proof when changing something that is specifically for use as identification.

nan0_frog January 14th, 2008
Yeah, I don't think she had any issues with her license either... In fact, her husband had a suspended license (he didn't know he hadn't paid a speeding ticket in another state which resulted in a suspended license that they didn't tell him about) and transferred his license to MA with no problems. They didn't even *find* the suspended license! He only found out later through the insurance company.

anitra January 14th, 2008
That makes me mad, since nightskyre almost lost his license over speeding tickets in a state he had never visited. He originally received a suspension in NH, which he was easily able to reverse - but when trying to transfer to MA, they brought up the same reason (someone in Georgia, I think), and once THAT was cleared up, he had his name on file in two OTHER states that needed to be cleared before they would let him transfer his (in good standing) NH license to MA.

nightskyre January 14th, 2008
South Carolina and Ohio, actually.

nan0_frog January 14th, 2008
Just goes to show you how disorganized the whole system is and how careless people can be when doing their jobs...
It *is* very sad.

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