Real ID - New Driver's Licenses Required by Law

Real ID - Driver's Licenses

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Real ID - New Drivers License

Well are you ready for a new driver's license? A new law that is known as the Real ID Act of 2005 has just passed the U.S. Senate. This new law requires that states standardize their driver's licenses or identification cards and make them machine readable by May 2008. The law states:

"Beginning 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements of this section."

This really means that you will need these cards if you want to fly or enter any federal building that requires an i.d.

New Card Requirements

The cards will require the following:

Now you are saying to yourself, so what. Most of these are on my current driver's license. Well keep reading, we are just getting warmed up.

Other State Requirements

Here are some other things that the state will be required to do:

Possible Loopholes

Now while I have read a number of complaints about this law, most of them express concerns about possible loopholes that the government could use to get a tighter grasp on its citizens. First, the "Physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes." could be anything from a holographic image in the plastic around the card to fingerprint copies to a remotely readable RFID chip. Secondly, the Real ID Act states: "A State shall participate in the interstate compact regarding sharing of driver license data, known as the `Driver License Agreement', in order to provide electronic access by a State to information contained in the motor vehicle databases of all other States." This will allow your information to be accessible to all states.

Now while interprets this as the following "Real ID requires the states to link their databases together for the mutual sharing of data from these IDs. This is, in effect, a single seamless national database, available to all the states and to the federal government.", I'm not as much of a conspiracy theory type of guy. Surely this database would be a great target for anyone looking to wreak havoc and chaos. However, it would also be highly guarded (except for all of those government employees that would have access to everyone's records...).

Regardless, most of us will go on unaware of the recent changes, while a select group of others will be seeing "Big Brother" getting a firmer grip on our lives.