Skip to comments.New ID Rules May Complicate Air Travel(REAL ID)
Posted on 01/12/2008 5:42:02 AM PST by kellynla
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-Sept. 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 was unveiling final details of the REAL ID Act's rules on Friday, said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May 2008, those states must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.
Chertoff said that for any state which doesn't seek such a waiver by May, residents of that state 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," Chertoff said. "But in the end, the rule is the rule as passed by Congress."
The plan's chief critic, the American Civil Liberties Union, called 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 due to 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 Friday they were unsure if 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 Sept. 11 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 believe are invasions of privacy.
Under the rules announced Friday, 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 over-50 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 immigrant or con artist is much less. By 2017, even those over 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 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.
Hmmmmmm. Folks born in 1964 aren’t likely to be terrorists? That is assinine.
Is the CCW on the list of approved ID’s?
I wonder what other items of ID will be required when one goes to get the Real ID drivers license over and above what they are furnishing today? I think in a lot of cases it maybe only the birth certificate. I think that is what I would need but then I’ve not seen the complete listing.
WTH? You'd think there'd be the slightest bit of journalistic curiosity about how $10.7 BILLION was slashed from expected costs. Granted, this is a Newsmax staff-written article, but even so....Did the govt actually cut costs or just tinker with the estimate to the tune of $10.7B? Either way, letting that statement stand with no explanation is just mind-boggling.
Actually, it's not asinine at all. It's a basic actuarial determination. Older people certainly can be terrorists, but the likelihood, based on analysis of the ages of those who, in fact, are terrorists, is that they're not.
The good news is, it's evidence that they're engaging in some level of common-sense profiling. The bad news is, it's likely that the common sense will short-lived. I base that on my own common-sense profiling of TSA. Those over age 50 will be likely subjected to even more intrusive and line-clogging scrutiny shortly after some 51 year old Muslim who should have been on the no-fly list boards a plane with his pre-RealID, age-exempted driver's license.
They are going to find a way to shut down this country and revert us to third world status yet.
Everybody gets to make some money in the war on terror.
If you don’t like the new security regulations, then you don’t have to fly. It’s as simple as that.
For cryin’ out loud, get a *@!^* passport.
A country made of up infantile complainers like the ACLU and the “civil libertarian” privacy enthusiasts, will never beat terrorism. If you want privacy, you should not go to a crowded airport and fly in a metal tube with hundreds of other people. You should go into the woods. Maybe crawl under a mossy rock.
If your state does not come up with the right driver’s licenses, that’s tough. We all have to suffer from what our state governments do: I know, ‘cause I live in NJ.
What is the big deal about security ID’s? The ACLU is having their required fit but they, as usual, ignore the real world. In one week, I was required to show my picture ID at a Best Buy, Staples, two supermarkets, a pharmacy, Wall-Mart, and the nice policeman who let me off with a lecture. If I need that required ID in order to simply stay alive, I’m not going to complain. As an added blessing, the Federally approved ID might, just might, put a crimp into (gasp) voter fraud. Hey guys, this is 2008, not 1908.
“What is the big deal about security IDs?”
I’m not sure because those of us who work have had a national ID since we first started working...it’s called a Social Security card. And those of us who have served and/or serve in the military had or have a national ID card.
is anti-American; hence anything that makes America more secure; the losers over at the ACLU are against. LOL
This is one time the ACLU has it right. I actually agree with most of their rational for the rejection of the national ID.
National ID Cards: 5 Reasons Why They Should Be Rejected
The terrorist attacks of September 11 have revived proposals for a national identity card system as a way to verify the identity of airline passengers and prevent terrorists from entering the country. For example, the Chairman and CEO of Oracle Corp., Larry Ellison, recently called for the creation of a national ID system and offered to provide the software for it without charge.
The newest calls for a national ID are only the latest in a long series of proposals that have cropped up repeatedly over the past decade, usually in the context of immigration policy, but also in connection with gun control or health care reform. But the creation of a national I.D. card remains a misplaced, superficial “quick fix.” It offers only a false sense of security and will not enhance our security - but will pose serious threats to our civil liberties and civil rights. A National ID will not keep us safe or free.
Reason #1: A national ID card system would not solve the problem that is inspiring it.
A national ID card system will not prevent terrorism. It would not have thwarted the September 11 hijackers, for example, many of whom reportedly had identification documents on them, and were in the country legally.
Terrorists and criminals will continue to be able to obtain — by legal and illegal means — the documents needed to get a government ID, such as birth certificates. Yes, these new documents will have data like digital fingerprints on them, but that won’t prove real identity - just that the carrier has obtained what could easily be a fraudulent document.
And their creation would not justify the cost to American taxpayers, which according to the Social Security Administration would be at least $4 billion.It is an impractical and ineffective proposal - a simplistic and naïve attempt to use gee-whiz technology to solve complex social and economic problems.
Reason #2: An ID card system will lead to a slippery slope of surveillance and monitoring of citizens.
A national ID card system would not protect us from terrorism, but it would create a system of internal passports that would significantly diminish the freedom and privacy of law-abiding citizens.Once put in place, it is exceedingly unlikely that such a system would be restricted to its original purpose. Social Security numbers, for example, were originally intended to be used only to administer the retirement program. But that limit has been routinely ignored and steadily abandoned over the past 50 years.A national ID system would threaten the privacy that Americans have always enjoyed and gradually increase the control that government and business wields over everyday citizens.
Reason #3: A national ID card system would require creation of a database of all Americans
What happens when an ID card is stolen? What proof is used to decide who gets a card? A national ID would require a governmental database of every person in the U.S. containing continually updated identifying information. It would likely contain many errors, any one of which could render someone unemployable and possibly much worse until they get their “”file”” straightened out.And once that database was created, its use would almost certainly expand. Law enforcement and other government agencies would soon ask to link into it, while employers, landlords, credit agencies, mortgage brokers, direct mailers, landlords, private investigators, civil litigants, and a long list of other parties would begin seeking access, further eroding the privacy that Americans have always expected in their personal lives.
Reason #4: ID cards would function as “”internal passports”” that monitor citizens’ movements
Americans have long had a visceral aversion to building a society in which the authorities could act like totalitarian sentries and demand “”your papers please!”” And that everyday intrusiveness would be conjoined with the full power of modern computer and database technology. When a police officer or security guard scans your ID card with his pocket bar-code reader, for example, will a permanent record be created of that check, including the time and your location? How long before office buildings, doctors’ offices, gas stations, highway tolls, subways and buses incorporate the ID card into their security or payment systems for greater efficiency? The end result could be a nation where citizens’ movements inside their own country are monitored and recorded through these “”internal passports.””
Reason #5: ID cards would foster new forms of discrimination and harassment
Rather than eliminating discrimination, as some have claimed, a national identity card would foster new forms of discrimination and harassment of anyone perceived as looking or sounding “foreign.”That is what happened after Congress passed the Employer Sanctions provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1985: widespread discrimination against foreign-looking American workers, especially Asians and Hispanics. A 1990 General Accounting Office study found almost 20 percent of employers engaged in such practices. A national ID card would have the same effect on a massive scale, as Latinos, Asians, Caribbeans and other minorities became subject to ceaseless status and identity checks from police, banks, merchants and others. Failure to carry a national I.D. card would likely come to be viewed as a reason for search, detention or arrest of minorities. The stigma and humiliation of constantly having to prove that they are Americans or legal immigrants would weigh heavily on such groups.
Thank you! :-]
I’ve been using my passport for years. Works fine.
“This is one time the ACLU has it right.”
Do you have a Social Security card?
Have you ever been in the military?
Have you ever worked for the Federal government?
If so, then you have had or have a National ID!
The ACLU is anti-American and they are against anything that makes America stronger & more secure! Point, Game, Set, Match!
I don’t care what is required but we have entirely too many undesirables roaming about the country.
And it is time to “take out trash” and require every adult to have some kind of biometric identification.
FWIW, I don’t know that we need a special ID card. Why not have anyone who wants to be able to use an acceptable ID just get a passport. If they want to have biometrics on it, fine by me. Driver’s licenses are a joke.
You choose to live your life on plastic. Don’t force this lifestyle on those who prefer cash.
Like I said, I don’t care what type of ID is required as long as there is one!
But after 9/11, we can’t continue doing business as usual.