2007/08/19

Your "Real ID" May Soon Be Your Passport

Real ID, the programs that states love to hate, the unfunded mandate that is supposed to be the law-o-the-land by May 2008, is about to make all of our lives a whole lot more complex. With over half of the state legislatures passing laws that repudiate the federal standard, some of us are going to be forced to use our passports when we want to board a plane, enter a federal building, or even travel to a national park.

"Tent..Coleman stove..fishing pools...beer...passports..."

And what about your current driver's license? Well that's under the gun as well. The new federal standard is designed to make you have to hit the DMV for a new one sometime before 2013, and when you do...get this...you'll need to have with you:
  • A photo ID (presumably the license that isn't good enough anymore)
  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of your Social Security number
  • Proof of residence
Now I ask you, how many of us actually have our birth certificates and our social security cards? Not to mention that you better never be between residences. After all, only dirty terrorists move from one place to another without permission from their Lord--whoops, sorry, I keep confusing the US with medieval Russia.

Guess my government hasn't considered that carrying my passport with me at all times might in and of itself pose a security risk. Though I suppose that they'll be taking care of that with an RFID transmitter.

28 Comments:

The last I read about Real ID was that so many states are fighting against it, it will never pass. I thought most states have refused to do it?
Just another step towards a more Nazi like America.

"Your papers, please?"
Don't leave home without them. The SS have a bad sense of humor and you may just piss them off enough to arrest you.

Oh yeah, they'll arrest your ass anyway since your on their terrorist watch list.

God Bless.
Ack. The only reason I have all those documents is because I had to get a passport in '01. Personally I'd just as soon monkeywrench the whole Real ID thing by having states abolish the drivers license -- as a guarantee of drivers being competent it's a total failure anyway.

License cars, not people.
Tree... Real ID was already passed in 2005, and according to Chertoff the deadline stays. Seems the Feds are just going to make it tough on the states that don't do their part.

Lew... Even more like the movies than before, I'd say. Having to whip out the passport seems much more like fiction that I want to contemplate.
AnonP... Me? On a terrorist watch list? Say it isn't so! ;-)

Mr_Grant... Welcome to Blognonymous.

Abolishing the driver's license it a provocative notion. Setting aside how it would interfere with the Feds, how would you deal with drivers who need their licenses lifted?
When I came back to Aust my main identification was a passport, but it was not accepted by anyone. I since gathered up the rest of the bits and pieces. Difficult as I was in the middle of a divorce and the ex had all my stuff…
The law here is strange. Only the transport dept or cops, in the case of a driving incident, have a legal right to see the drivers license. SSN is a tax file number here, which is only available (legally) to the tax office. The birth cert is an extract. All these can go to make up a 100 points ident.
But when I fell short a bank keycard – name only – was accepted as the top up. All to protect my identity of course.
The answer is to have your passport information tattooed across your forehead, Kvatch.

If all Americans did this terrorism would end and crime would stop.

Cheers!
If all Americans did this terrorism would end and crime would stop.

Not as long as there are still lefties underground. You know we all like to blow things up in the name of hugging trees.

What's so frustrating about this whole Real ID/papers please crap is that I have no problem envisioning the majority of Americans accepting this without question. This nation has been so conditioned over the last 50 years against some form of The Other, and now it's just easier because it's not a monolithic thing like the Soviet Union. Sure, your neighbor could've been a commie, but between swarthy types from the Middle East and Mexico, we'll, we're just surrounded, surrounded!

What a nation of cowards we are.
My state already requires this. And it has been difficult for some elderly relatives to come up with birth certificates (some had to just go back to the county of birth and buy them again. Ka-ching!).
Cartledge... Here a passport trumps just about anything else. Is it because a relatively small percentages of Americans have one? Perhaps. Even an expired passport is sufficient for many purposes.

Daniel... You know I did that, though in a different location, and now I have to ask TSA for the private room every time I go through the airport. ;-)
Randal... No truer words. The states' argument against Real ID is a purely economic one. They don't give a damn about civil liberties or the potential dangers it introduces into the system.

Nvisiblewmn... That sucks. Imagine being an immigrant and wondering what papers you need to get from your government before coming here.

I know from my own family research, that when Social Security was implemented many people had to go back to their places of birth for documentation only to find that there was no documentation. Birth certificates were then generated on the spot.
Real ID Funding Amendment Killed in Senate!
The Senate voted 48-46 to kill a proposal to fund the Real ID Act. This means no money will be provided by the Senate to pay for Real ID, and the program is likely to face even stronger opposition from the states.

I just cut and pasted this from the ACLU site. Despite their ignorant statement about RealID being the first national ID (hello? social security card?) there's some great information on their web site.
I live in South Carolina (one of the states that has definitively refused to comply) and I have no passport as of yet. I am a military spouse, so life may get real interesting for me soon. I wonder if I will need a passport to get on base? On another note, I have no plans to get a national ID. I will just keep my residency as SC when I move. I can do that being a military spouse. HA.
well actually I do have my birth cert. I hope this shit fades away and someone with some intelligence stomps it out for good.
this can be solved with a sku-number being tattoed on our foreheads and retinal scans for confirmation. the birth certificate thing is very bothersome. but in all seriousness, the more seperate id info you need to present, the less likely it would be to falsify info. but at the same time, carrying all those documents will be, as you said, a potential security risk.
Real ID Funding Amendment Killed in Senate!

Yup...Real ID has been pretty much "an unfunded mandate" since its inception. Chertoff doesn't care though. He was even quoted as saying that states much share in the burden of implementing it.

Navyswan... If the Feds decide to get nasty about it, that would put you in quite a bind. Good luck. Hope you don't need it.
PoP... I've got mine as well, but I really, Really, REALLY don't like taking it out of the safety deposit box for such nonsense.

Raffi... You said it! I want my "Mark-o-the-beast" right up front and center on my dome. ;-)
Heya Kvatch, FYI: Mr_Grant = Mr_Blog. I have my browser's autocomplete on and forgot to edit my handle.

My goal on this subject is a thought experiment on ways to deprive the federal government of an easy way to create a national ID.

My theory on driver licensing, and I'm taking an extreme position just to see where it leads, is that abolishing the licensing of people will have no effect on the skill level of people out on the road.

A recent national study found 17% of drivers would fail the drivers test if they had to take it again. To me, this means we're spending a lot of tax dollars on a testing & licensing system that is only 83% effective. And I wonder what the margin of error was on the study.

At present the states license bad drivers. From what I read in the news, a significant number of people with revoked licenses drive anyway. We could deal with these problems in two ways (maybe more): have insurers require proof of completion of a operating skills course; states could certify those programs and audit them for adequacy. We would use law enforcement to manage bad drivers. For hardcore incompetents who continue to drive without proof of skill (and therefore insurance), we would use criminal penalties.

Would this reduce the number of incompetent drivers on the roads? I don't know. But the expensive licensing bureaucracy we now have doesn't seem to.

I would maintain vehicle licensing of course, for tax and law enforcement purposes. And mechanical inspections in states that require them.
Our fair state requires two of those ID's now if you're coming in from out of state. Or, if you're dumb enough to forget to renew your license. I do have birth certificate and SSN card. Just makes life easier. Keep them in a safe deposit box at the bank along with the other papers, such as insurance policies, etc.
Geez, Mr. Blog has a point. Every time I get behind the wheel it seems like the number is a lot higher than 17%. People don't signal, they turn from the wrong lane, they tailgate... I do none of the above of course, since I took government-sponsored safe driving training in high school (in Canada back in the 60's - a great deal too. The student only had to pay $5.00 or so for the text book, and then got a discount from most insurance companies for having taken the course.)

The US has changed its requirements for travellers from other countries too. Up here in Canada we used to be able to travel into the states with little more than our driver's license. My mom went down to visit my aunt in Old Orchard Beach, Me. last week. She wanted to fly down, but couldn't, because that requires a passport now, and the passport office in Canada is backed up because of the sudden increase in demand. My brother volunteered to drive her down (a ten hour trip each way), which meant they both needed a birth certificate.

I can see this will have a negative impact on your tourist industry.
I can see this will have a negative impact on your tourist industry.


Yeah! If tourists can't get to Pike Place Market or Fisherman's Wharf to by cheap souvenirs made in China, then the terrorists have won!
We all have our birth certificates because we went out of the country in August 2001 and since we didn't have enough time to get passports for the trip...the country accepted BC along with the driver's license ID. BC aren't difficult to acquire and not too expensive. But, I rather imagine the passport thing is on the horizon because of air travel at least.
Mr_Blog... Damn! And I thought I had a new reader. :-(

I believe that 17% number. Probably would have been one of them myself. What made me a better, more attentive driver, was going through the formal motorcycle training courses.

Hariseldon... Just after 9/11, the Frogette and I got caught in Boston on our way to Canada when we forgot our passports--never needed them before and just didn't think it through.
SadButTrue... Whoops. Getting my commenting screwed up. That comment above was for you.

Hariseldon... Sorry. Actually I do as you do. All the important forms of ID are in the safety deposit box.

Mr_Blog... Hey! What I want is terrorists buying cheap trinkets from China. Then we can really show 'em the superiority of our way of life.

Sumo... But do you really want to have the passport with you at all times. Seems a little creepy to me.
1. Terrorists come to the U.S. and buy cheap souvenirs made in China.
3. Terrorists die of lead poisoning.
4. The CEO of Wal-Mart becomes our next president and we become the United States of China.

It could happen.
Another step forward toward total Fatherland Security. Sieg heil.

Or maybe Hail Stalin/Kruschev/Breznhev/Andropov/Chernenko/etc... this is starting to reek of the Soviet Union and the travel restrictions it used to place on its citizens. People used to have to have permits to travel within their own country. Looks like where we're headed now, eh?
Tree... Or perhaps just the 'United States of Wal-Mart'?

People used to have to have permits to travel within their own country.

Snave... Certainly seems that way doesn't it? You'll know we've got trouble if (when?) the US starts requiring cars to be equipped with GPS transmitters.

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