12/23/13. REAL ID Enforcement Begins in 2014; 21 States Compliant, DHS Says. Homeland Security Today, hstoday.us
Enforcement of the REAL ID Act will begin in April, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced. The enforcement will start in steps within restricted areas of DHS headquarters, followed by a phased approach with substantial enforcement in 2016.
The REAL ID Act prohibits the federal government from accepting driver’s licenses and ID cards that do not meet minimum security standards set by DHS no later than May 2017. The minimum standards require that driver’s license security features be routinely upgraded to be counterfeit resistant and require applicants to provide documentary proofs confirm true identity.
REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards are key elements of the nation’s homeland security strategy. Enforcement of the law will clarify and differentiate between compliant state-issued identity credentials versus less reliable proofs of identity when admitting people to secure federal facilities or, beginning in 2016, to board airlines.
The government will begin phasing in enforcement of the REAL ID Act as required by law, “in a measured, fair, responsible and achievable way,” DHS said. “The first phase will begin on January 20, 2014 and is limited to DHS headquarters in Washington before expanding to other Federal facilities later this year. The fourth phase covers acceptable IDs that can be used for boarding a federally regulated commercial aircraft. Before a date for Phase 4 is set, DHS will conduct an evaluation to inform a fair and achievable timeline. The date for implementing Phase 4 will be set after the evaluation has been complete; this phase will occur no sooner than 2016.
DHS commended the 21 states that have already meet the act’s minimum standards for their leadership in improving security for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards (Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming).
DHS has granted extensions to twenty states and territories that have provided information demonstrating that they are on the pathway towards achieving full compliance, including Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, US Virgin Islands and Virginia.
The Transportation Security Administration will continue to accept driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards from all jurisdictions until at least 2016. DHS will ensure the public has ample advanced notice before identification requirements for boarding aircraft change.
12/24/13. National ID Law Takes Effect In 2014. Daniel Jennings, offthegridnews.com
State drivers’ licenses are slowly turning into national ID cards by a little known federal law called the REAL ID Act.
The idea behind the law is to make it easier for law enforcement and security personnel to identify individuals through their driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards, and the law has even led some states to ban smiling for license pictures, so as not to throw off computer facial recognition software.
Privacy groups, as well as those opposed to a growing federal government, have expressed significant concern.
The REAL ID Act created a set of standards for drivers’ licenses and ID cards that the states must meet by 2014, although currently only 19 states have met the criteria. The states were originally supposed to meet the criteria by 2008 but state governments successfully lobbied to get the deadline extended at least twice.
Under the original plan, drivers’ licenses were to be used as ID for a wide variety of purposes, such as being allowed onto airplanes. But many states are not going along, even though a REAL ID will be required to board an airplane in 2016 – and to enter a federal building by October 2014.
What the Real Act ID does
The practical effect of the REAL ID Act is to create a set of standards that state-issued ID cards and drivers’ licenses must meet. The standards will be enforced by the Department of Homeland Security.
Under the Act a driver’s license or ID Card will have to meet 39 standards, including:
- Contain the individual’s full legal name.
- List the individual’s residential address and not a post office box.
- List the individual’s birth date.
- List the individual’s gender.
- Contain the individual’s signature.
- Contain a photograph that can be used for biometric identification. That means photographs have to be taken with facial recognition software – and that smiling is banned in some states such as New Jersey and Illinois.
- All drivers’ licenses must contain features such as chips or magnetic stripes like those used in credit cards so they can be read by scanners and facilitate the tracking of citizens.
The law also requires individuals to present the following documents when they apply for a driver’s license:
- Proof of US citizenship or legal residence in the United States.
- A valid birth certificate.
- A Social Security Number.
- Another kind of valid identification.
States will have to verify a person’s identity and check to see if he or she does not have another driver’s license in his or her name.
Many states have objected to the IDs because of the cost. The state of Oregon would need to spend $16.3 million to comply with the REAL ID Act.
The Concerns about the REAL ID Act
A number of groups, including civil libertarians, immigrants’ rights activists and fiscal conservatives, have voiced strong objections to the REAL ID Act.
The major objections to the REAL Act include:
- The creation of a national database of driver’s license information maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.
- Make government tracking of citizens easier. “If fully implemented, the law would facilitate tracking of data on individuals and bring government into the very center of every citizen’s life,” Chris Calabrese a legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote of the REAL ID Act.
- Put excessive burdens on some groups of people including rural residents who might not have “residential addresses” for their homes. Also, the requirements could burden immigrants and elderly persons who might not possess some of the required documentation.
- Create a situation in which drivers’ licenses could be used as an ID card for purposes such as buying firearms and ammunition, boarding an airplane or applying for a job.
- Make it harder and more costly for law-abiding citizens and residents to get driver’s licenses.
- Cost too much for states to implement.