Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Half Truths about Real ID from DHS

There is a showdown coming up between several states and the federal government about state ID standards. The Dept. of Homeland Security warns that if the states do not adopt Real ID standards, that their driver's licenses will no longer be considered valid ID for people passing through airport security. I suspect that this statement is being promulgated by federal bureaucrats who are hoping that worried citizens will pressure their state governments into adopting Real ID standards for their states' licenses. While true, this statement is a half-truth. The full truth is that airline passengers need not worry about being denied the ability to fly on a commercial airline regardless of what state they are from or what their state's driver's license standards are. Airline passengers do not need to show ANY identification to fly, as most anyone who has had their wallet lost or stolen on a trip can attest. In fact, a member of the Department of Homeland Security's privacy advisory committee flew on a commercial flight out of San Francisco International Airport a couple of years ago without any ID as a public demonstration of this policy and discovered that he actually got through security screening faster than if he had brought some identification.

For the record, I am not against improving the security of state driver's licenses, but I am against federal bureaucrats distributing half-truths to frighten citizens and manipulate state politics.


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