In 3½ months, residents of 5 states must use a passport to board domestic flights

Here’s yet another way our feral [sic] government is using the “War on Terror” to restrict our freedom.

On May 11, 2005, exploiting Americans’ fear of terrorism after 9/11, Congress and the Bush administration enacted the Real I.D. Act in the name of national security. (See “National ID card for every American“)

Real I.D. is an effective National ID card. All 50 constituent States in America are required to federalize their driver’s licenses by making them conform to national federal standards. Even non-drivers will be issued an ID card, thereby putting the lie to Real ID being just a driver’s license. That ID card contains all sorts of information on you which are entered into a national database and accessible and shared by the 50 state authorities. The information includes:

  • Information that’s on your driver’s license now: birthdate and address;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status;
  • Reportedly, biometric security features and RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips.

Nevada's Real ID card

But if you live in New York, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Minnesota and New Hampshire, beginning January 1, 2016, that is in 3 months 12 days, you will need a passport to board a commercial airplane, even for domestic flights. All other states will still be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses and IDs, at least for now.

John Vibes reports for AntiMedia, Sept. 18, 2015, that the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have declined to comment on why those 5 states have been singled out. Presumably, it is because those states’ driver’s licenses do not meet the Real ID requirements, although it is unclear just what those requirements actually are.

According to DHS’s guidelines on enforcement of the Real ID Act:

Secure driver’s licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government ‘set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.’ The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.  The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

The Real ID act has been controversial since its initial proposal over ten years ago and is seen by many as a massive violation of privacy. One of the primary reasons it has taken the government so long to roll this program out is because the program is wildly unpopular and creates heavy backlash every time it appears in the news.

~Éowyn

Dr. Eowyn’s post originally appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.

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