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REAL ID Act

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The REAL ID Act is a U.S. federal law specific to national identification cards and immigration issues pertaining to terrorism.

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Contents

Overview

The REAL ID Act of 2005[1] was tacked on as a rider to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief legislation.[2] The REAL ID Act creates a set of federal standards for U.S. state drivers' licenses and identification cards. Access to federal agencies would only be allowed using an id that follows these new standards or a passport.

Requirements

The following documentation must be provided to the DMV in order for a driver's license or state identification card can be issued:[3]

  • A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes full legal name and birthdate
  • Documentation of birth date
  • Documentation of legal status
  • Documentation with Social Security Number
  • Documentation showing both name and principal residence address
  • Alternative documentation allowed by each State, although such documentation must be authenticated  by each time presented

Electronic copies of each identity document will be stored at each state DMV database.

Issues

  • Cost

The cost to the states to implement REAL ID is very high.  Without federal funding, states are reluctant to use their funds for such an endeavour.

  • National Database

Placing sensitive information in a nationally accessible government database would invade privacy of U.S. citizens and expose them to identity theft.

  • Passport

REAL ID is essentially requiring driver's licenses to become a passport.  Wouldn't it cost less and require less process to just require a passport to gain entry to government buildings.

References

  1. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h1268enr.txt.pdf
  2. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.109hr1268
  3. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_10/6cfr37_10.html

External Links

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