24 Mar 2015

Papieren, Bitte!

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Your Papers, Please!

Benjamin Preston, at Car & Driver, reports on a little more bad news for Americans, thanks to George W. Bush’s Department of Heimat Sekuritat.

If you live in Arizona, Louisiana, New York, or one of more than a dozen other states, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has bad news for you. Come January 19, your driver’s license will no longer allow you access to certain federal facilities. Unless DHS changes its mind. Again.

In 2005, Congress passed a bill called the Real ID Act, based upon recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission. Whether or not you’ve heard of the law depends largely upon how in tune you are with conspiracy theories. Where you live matters, too, because nearly a decade after the law’s passage, only 19 states actually comply with its standards.

Real ID’s stated intent is to ensure that all jurisdictions issuing driver’s licenses and other identification meet federal stand­ards, “which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.” Basically, the government is upping the ante on what it will accept as valid forms of ID at federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and—here’s the biggie—federally regulated airline flights (i.e., most of them).

Opponents fear that Real ID will lead to a national identity card like those issued by “totalitarian” governments and that its requirement that states share data from their department of motor vehicle databases is an invasion of privacy.

One Feedback on "Papieren, Bitte!"


An Id is and should be necessary for certain things. And the secure ID act was intended to make sure that state issued ID (drivers licenses) were in fact secure. Most states that failed to make them secure failed for the simple reason that they would allow illegal aliens to get drivers licenses. I don’t mean in the way some states have recently where the illegal opnely admits they are illegal and the license reflects this in some way. I mean that some states, like mine, allow a bill from the utilitiy to a local address in your name as “proof” that you are a citizen. They intentionallyt turn a blind eye. They do this for the cynical reason that they want illegals to be able to vote. But never the less the license is so easy to get that the government is reluctant to use it as proof of much of anything. This doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. While I admit that this law like most laws could be abused the need for it seems obvious and realistic. Should we instead require no ID for anything? And if we are going to require an ID for somethings and we accept that a drivers license is the most commonly accepted ID shouldn’t it make sense that we require proof of who we are before issuing a drivers license?


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