Your driver’s license may no longer be valid for boarding an airplane or entering federal buildings as of May 11, 2011.
That’s the deadline that senior House Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to impose, saying states must be required to comply with so-called Real ID rules creating a standardized digital identity card that critics have likened to a national ID.
The political problem for the GOP committee chairmen is that the 2005 Real ID Act has proven to be anything but popular: legislatures of two dozen states have voted to reject its requirements, and in the Michigan and Pennsylvania legislatures one chamber has done so.
That didn’t stop the House Republicans from saying in a letter this week to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that “any further extension of Real ID threatens the security of the United States.” Unless Homeland Security grants an extension, the law’s requirements take effect on May 11.
“If they don’t, people won’t be able to use their driver’s licenses to get on airplanes,” says Molly Ramsdell, who oversees state-federal affairs for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “They can use a military ID. They can use some other federal ID. But they won’t be able to use a driver’s license.” (See CNET’s FAQ.)
The situation represents a setback to Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), who championed Real ID as a way to identify terrorists and criminals. But instead of what supporters hoped would be a seamless shift to a nationalized ID card, the requirements have created a confusing patchwork of state responses–with some legislatures forbidding their motor vehicle administration from participating–and could herald chaos at airports unrivaled by any other recent change to federal law.
Since its enactment, its backers have been aggressively defending Real ID, noting that many of the hijackers on September 11, 2001, were able to fraudulently obtain U.S. driver’s licenses. Because Real ID links state DMV databases, establishes a standard bar code that can be digitally scanned, and mandates that original documents such as birth certificates be verified, backers claim the benefits extend beyond antiterror and ID fraud cases. (Extending it to firearm and prescription drug sales has not been ruled out.)
Complicating the fact is that, during the Bush administration, Homeland Security was an unabashed champion of Real ID. But under the Obama administration, the department has been far less effusive in its support of the law, and Napolitano has been quoted as talking about repealing Real ID in hopes of replacing it with something that “accomplishes some of the same goals.”
(Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20038613-281.html )
A couple of notes from MadArizonan:
1) “national ID” is not a card, it’s a datafile. The card or chip or bar code or magnetic strip are just ways of expressing the data contained in the datafile.
2) Note that it will be used in the future for gun purchases and tracking.
3) Napolitano doesn’t want to implement the “Real ID” program, but another national id program
4) There are a hundred if not hundreds of national ID programs. Real ID is just one.
5) Homeland Security owns the national ID database.
6) State license data exchanged with Homeland Security goes in the national ID datbase.
7) This is part of a wider international effort. See “How the US Government Forged a Surveillance Society” on newswithviews.com
8 ) There’s nothing in the constitution about authority for the federal government to track law-abiding American citizens.
Time for a TEAPARTY. Kick the rest of the RINOs out!