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Thread: DHS Chertoff pushes states for air IDs. More ReaLID fromThe Washington Times

  1. #1
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    Jun 2006
    Washington Island, across Death's Door, Wisconsin, USA

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    Millions of air travelers may find going through airport security much more complicated this spring, as the Bush administration heads toward a showdown with state governments over post-September 11 rules for new driver's licenses.

    By May, the dispute could leave millions of people unable to use their licenses to board planes, but privacy advocates called that a hollow threat by federal officials.

    Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who announced final details of the REAL ID Act's rules yesterday, said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May, they must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.

    Mr. Chertoff said residents of any state that doesn't seek such a waiver by May will have to use a passport or certain types of federal border-crossing cards if they want to avoid a vigorous secondary screening at airport security.

    "The last thing I want to do is punish citizens of a state who would love to have a REAL ID license but can't get one," he said. "But in the end, the rule is the rule as passed by Congress."

    The plan's chief critic, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), called Mr. Chertoff's deadline a bluff — and urged state governments to call him on it.

    "Are they really prepared to shut those airports down? Which is what effectively would happen if the residents of those states are going to have to go through secondary scrutiny," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's technology and liberty program. "This is a scare tactic."

    So far, 17 states have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to the REAL ID Act's provisions, many because of concerns it will cost them too much to comply. The 17, according to the ACLU, are Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.

    Maine officials said yesterday they were unsure whether their own state law even allows them to ask for a waiver.

    "It certainly seems to be an effort by the federal government to create compliance with REAL ID, whether states have an interest in doing so or not," said Don Cookson, spokesman for the Maine secretary of state's office.

    The September 11, 2001, attacks were the main motivation for the changes: The hijacker-pilot who flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had four driver's licenses and ID cards from three states.

    The Homeland Security Department and other officials say the only way to ensure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government data; critics such as the ACLU say that creates a system that is more likely to be infiltrated and have its personal data pilfered.

    Congress passed the REAL ID law in 2005, but the effort has been delayed by opposition from states worried about the cost and civil libertarians upset about what they think are invasions of privacy.

    Under the rules announced yesterday, Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years, over which time the new requirements would gradually be phased in.

    A key deadline would come in 2011, when federal authorities hope all states will be in compliance, and the regulations would not take full effect for all Americans until 2017.

    To make the plan more appealing to cost-conscious states, federal authorities drastically reduced the expected cost from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion, a 73 percent decline, said Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan.

    By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant card, with the notable exception of those older than 50, Homeland Security officials said.

    The exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal alien or con artist is much less. By 2017, even those older than 50 must have a REAL ID-compliant card to board a plane.

    Among other details of the REAL ID plan:

    • The traditional driver's license photograph would be taken at the beginning of the application instead of the end so that if someone is rejected for failure to prove identity and citizenship, the applicant's photo would be kept on file and checked if that person tried to con the system again.

    • The cards will have three layers of security measures but will not contain microchips as some had expected. States will be able to choose from a menu just which security measures they will put in their cards.

    • After Social Security and immigration status checks become nationwide practice, officials plan to move on to more expansive security checks. State DMV offices would be required to verify birth certificates; check with other states to ensure an applicant doesn't have more than one license; and check with the State Department to verify applicants who use passports to get a driver's license.

    ETA: More on federal identification requirements
    Judge Wright had ruled that the JPL employees were unlikely to suffer harm from not agreeing to the checks, but Judge Wardlaw said the scientists faced "a stark choice — either violation of their constitutional rights or loss of their jobs."

  2. #2
    State Researcher
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    Apr 2007
    , Alabama, USA

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    Just a couple sites on "Real ID" about States fighting it. Looks like States govs are taking a stand! ......a map showing States stance on "Real ID"

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Southeast, Missouri, USA

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    It's a federal ID essentially and lends itself to a "show me your papers" mentality. Missouri already has a requirement that to obtain a driver's license or state ID card you have to provide an original birth certificate, a utility bill or some other proof of address and a social security card. A legal resident has slightly different documents to supply. I have no problem with these requirements to ensure valid DLs. I do have a problem with what is essentially a federal ID card.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  4. #4
    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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    This driver license deal is nothing but a fraud on the American people. A license is to allow someone to do something which is illegal. So, a driver license is issued to show that the person holding it has shown the ability to operate a car. The driver license only intent is to show ONLY that you can drive.

    Ohio also issues a State ID card. It's for identification only.

    If the Feds want a national ID let them issue them.

    Personally I don't want to go into a federal building.

  5. #5
    Regular Member
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    Oct 2006
    Boise, Idaho, , USA

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    If the Feds want a national ID let them issue them.
    They already do. It's called a passport and one must send in original documents such as birth certificate and so on to get it. It's to be used to verify that you are an american citizen -- that you are who you say you are -- but not any kind of proof of residency of a particular state.

    My belief is that the RealID Act is just a backdoor way of getting everyone under more scrutiny. Not everyone wants or needs a passport; a helluva lot more people need a drivers' license.

    Besides, if the whole idea is to prevent fraud from illegal immigrants and so on, then why don't the feds first strike down laws that I've heard are in places in California (for example) that issue DL's to them at all? I could be wrong about this point, so if anyone has any clarifications, I'd be happy to adjust my opinion accordingly.

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