Real ID Act
| 05.19.2005 | 11:05:59 | Views: 2644 | ID:
May 18 '05: An added bill slipped into legislation providing additional funding for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq would create federal requirements for Americans wanting to obtain a driver's license. The REAL ID act, as it is called, would require people to produce "an authentic copy of their birth certificate to apply for a new driver's license or renew an old one. The certificates must be verified at the counter by a Department of Motor Vehicles agent, along with other identification, such as Social Security numbers and utility bills," the Washington Post reported last week.
States, the Post continued, would not have to comply with the new measure, but people without the new federal license would not be allowed through airport security, "unless they had other identification, such as a passport."Parts of REAl ID would also extend the powers of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. According to the Post the legislation would "create more obstacles for immigrants seeking asylum and give Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff unprecedented authority to supersede environmental laws in completing a three-mile stretch of fence at the Mexican border with San Diego." But the new law is facing opposition from state governors. According to According to Wired News those who support the bill have said it will help in the fight against terror - many cite the fact that a majority of the hijackers on the planes which attacked the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were able to obtain state drivers' licenses which they used to board the planes. Under the legislation states would be compelled to "produce standardized, tamper-resistant driver's licenses that would include machine-readable, encoded data. States wouldn't be required to comply. But those that don't comply would create hardship for residents, who wouldn't be able to use their licenses as official identification to travel on airplanes, collect federal benefits or gain access to federal buildings."
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