Eventually all domestic flyers will need a REAL ID-compliant license or other form of identification to fly. The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
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REAL ID is hacker-bait and puts personal and national security at risk, complicates travel, admittance to federal facilities and you’ll need a to purchase a license or ID even if yours is still valid and doesn’t require renewal for a couple of years. AND not complying can get your driver’s license or state ID revoked.
The REAL ID Act requires state motor vehicle divisions to open their database to all other states. It’s a hub and spoke system, a decentralized “distributed database” with a central hub, 50 state spokes and a pointer system. States must send a list of data to the hub, which acts as a central index of all drivers and ID holders. The system is called “State to State Exchange”
The FBI is spending over $1 billion to create the world’s largest biometric database and the driver’s license itself is a red herring. The goal of TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and DHS (Homeland Security) is to eliminate the need for ID documentation and focus on the use of biometrics. REAL ID is an unconstitutional power grab eliminating state’s rights and giving the federal government control over all citizens identification, movement, and access to goods and services. Real ID is a national ID, yet both Interpol and Nlets (International Justice and Public Safety Network are using the standards of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) for collection and the sharing of biometrics. The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) has also adopted the ISO standard(s). When it comes to identification, it does not matter whether an individual is in Paris, Texas or Paris, France, Los Ángeles, Chile or Los Angeles California the individual can be identified by the use of facial recognition software and the use of international telecommunication systems/networks. Nlets acknowledges it does share biometric information/data/samples with countries all over the world and one of the primary sources of information provided is state DMV databases.
At this point in time, our privacy has actually been somewhat protected by the fact all collected information still remains scattered across many different databases. But once the government, landlords, employers, or other powerful forces gain the ability to draw together all this information, our privacy will be destroyed. This is exactly what a national identity system would facilitate. A national ID facilitates tracking. When a police officer or security guard scans your ID card with a pocket bar-code reader, it will likely create a permanent record including, but not limited to your name, license number, the date and time as well as 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 situation where citizens’ movements inside their own country are monitored and recorded through these “internal passports.”
DMV offices will continue to appear as state offices, but under Real ID Act DMV offices become agents acting on behalf of the federal government charged with administering are forcing clerks to become federal immigration officials; verifying citizenship status and adjudicating who can and cannot be given a license despite the complexity of numerous categories and complex technicalities comprising immigration laws. A REAL ID amounts to an internal passport moving State DMVs away from licensing drivers to targeting immigrants who can’t prove they’re in enumerated lawful immigration status through verified documentary evidence, inevitably causing discrimination against those who may “look” or “sound” “foreign”.
Because of the new document requirements, the labor-intensive complexities involved in verifying documents, and the need for DMVs to reprocess the bulk of the population already possessing driver’s licenses, individuals will receive slower service, longer lines, and the need for repeat visits to the DMV. Out of a population of 290 million residents, there are approximately 194 million licensed drivers. In addition to the millions of children, teenagers, and the elderly are particularly likely to lack licenses. The complicated yet often ambiguous maze of requirements created by the Act will throw many unlucky people into a bureaucratic quagmire as they try to overcome inflexible verification requirements, bureaucratic errors or mismatches, lost documents, unique circumstances, or other problems. Some individuals, inevitably, will find themselves unable to obtain these new identity papers. In addition, for many low-income workers, taking off time work is difficult and expensive, the need for repeated trips to the DMV and other agencies such as registrar’s offices in search of birth certificates would be an even greater burden. And because the Act’s mandates would cost states billions of dollars which Congress refuses to pay, fees on drivers licenses will inevitably rise, and in all probability, State taxes will continue to escalate.
By definitively turning driver’s licenses into national identity documents, Real ID would have a tremendously destructive impact on privacy. The creation of a single interlinked database as well as the requirement that each DMV store copies of all the birth certificates and other documents presented will create a one-stop shop for identity thieves. Failure to include adequate privacy and security safeguards for this massive national identification database. Real ID will ultimately become a key infrastructure for and dramatically accelerate, the surveillance society already being constructed in the United States. Once put in place, it will be used more and more for the routine tracking, monitoring, and regulation of individuals’ movements and activities, exploiting the private sector, and expose individuals to a greater risk of identity theft and other security risks. The centralized database will inevitably, over time, become the repository for more and more data on individuals over an ever-wider set of purposes. The ability of hackers to gain access to the personal information of over 240 million US Citizens. The system is only as good as its weakest link and DHS admits there are minimum standards required of the states. As it is, nearly 10 million people, or 5% of U.S. adults, were victims of identity theft. The security problems with creating concentrated databases have been repeatedly demonstrated over the years, most recently in the rash of cases where information held by commercial database companies has fallen into the hands of identity thieves or others. AND if a thief has obtained someone’s REAL ID compliant state ID, it can be hard for the victim of identity theft to verify their own identity when traveling, moving to a new state, getting a job, or conducting business with a financial institution or government agency.
Remember, if you can’t provide an acceptable form of identification, you won’t be permitted through security checkpoints which means your expensive airline or train ticket is money down the drain; a missed court date may constitute a failure to appear warrant and may eventually even hinder people from picking up medical prescriptions, entering national parks and Social Security offices,
Instead of preventing disaster, Real ID is only bringing more issues by dividing people into documented/ undocumented and doesn’t create a safer atmosphere nor will it prevent terrorism in public spaces.
Americans Clueless about Danger of REAL ID
TSA Reminds Travelers of REAL ID Identification Requirements
International Organization for Standardization
ICAO ~ International Civil Aviation Organization
Nlets ~ International Justice and Public Safety Network
Real ID cannot be used for International Air Travel ~ Travel.State.Gov ~ U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Real ID will divide us into Documented and Undocumented
Are you ready for fingerprinting in exchange for a faster experience at the airport?
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)