Last year, Congress passed the Real ID Act in an effort to curb terrorism.
That means by May 2008 all states must issue drivers licenses and ids that meet tougher federal standards laid out by the Department of Homeland Security.
Information on a ‘Real ID’ would include a person’s full name, date of birth, home address, physical features and arguably the most controversial aspect, some sort of bar or chip that can be read or scanned, much like a credit card.
All of that personal information would be stored on a database to be shared nationwide.
Republican Representative Neal Kurk ushered the measure to bar the state from adopting Real ID through the House last month.
He told the Senate Committee the new federal plan won’t enhance national security at all.
:55 … Remember the 9/11 terrorirsts were in this country legally and had legally obtained documents. The real id system will enhance government control and citizens will suffer. Perhaps that is why the Real ID Act is opposed by the Naitonal Governor’s Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the conservative Cato Institute and the liberal ACLU.
Indeed, traditional political opponents find themselves on the same side of this issue.
Whether Republican, Libertarian or Democrat much of the criticism centered on privacy.
Some, like Jennifer Coffey with the gun rights group 2nd Amendment Sisters, worry about identity theft.
12:46 it creates a beautiful database that is easy to get into. If they get into the NH Liquor Store database and stole people’s names and credit cards. They got people’s names and address from Fidelity and social security. And those were much smaller databases.
Democratic Senator Iris Estabrook spoke of being tracked.
2:43 it doesn’t seem to me that as Americans we want to live with radio signals being omitted from our required ID cards. That doesn’t sound like America to me. And it doesn’t sound like something we need in order to have drivers licenses.
Opponents see Real ID as a first step to a national identification system that would require people to carry their papers even when walking their dog.
Republican Representative Steve Valincourt warned Senators similar systems haven’t worked out so well in other countries.
1:10 in the 1930’s we are told the Netherlands went to this type of system for national id…Of course late in the 30’s, some other people goose-stepped their way into the Netherlands, and all the work on National ID had been done.