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 driverâ€™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 youâ€™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 lawâ€™s passage, only 19 states actually comply with its standards.
Real IDâ€™s stated intent is to ensure that all jurisdictions issuing driverâ€™s licenses and other identification meet federal standÂards, â€œwhich should inhibit terroristsâ€™ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.â€ Basically, the government is upping the ante on what it will accept as valid forms of ID at federal facilities, nuclear power plants, andâ€”hereâ€™s the biggieâ€”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 â€œtotalitarianâ€ governments and that its requirement that states share data from their department of motor vehicle databases is an invasion of privacy.