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The Real ID Act: How Not To Use A Driver License

Posted on January 14th, 2008 in , | 13 Comments

The Real ID Act: How Not To Use A Driver License By NMA President, James Baxter

The driver license should serve one and only one purpose; that is to certify that the owner of that license has proven that he or she is capable of operating a motor vehicle, on a public roadway, and in a safe and prudent manner.

The driver license should not be used as a general identification instrument. It should not be suspended or revoked unless, through due process, it is proven that the license owner is not driving in a safe and prudent manner.

Real ID is a bad idea and using the driver license for Real ID makes it a worse idea.

The manner in which the driver license is carried and used makes it highly susceptible to theft and physical loss. Under the "one national ID number" concept, the compromise of that number would expose the victim to financial ruin, malicious acts, and the exposure of highly personal information.

Having a single national ID card/number is an invitation to fraud, theft, and the loss of personal security and individual privacy. Real ID brings us within a step of becoming a “show us your papers” society. The highest courts have already ruled that we no longer have a right to anonymity. We can no longer refuse to identify ourselves if that information is demanded by a police officer, regardless of his justification.

With Real ID we’ll be forced to produce a document, on demand, that proves we are who we say we are. It is already proposed that we can’t fly in a commercial airliner, enter a federal building, or qualify for federal programs without providing a national ID. It doesn’t take a great leap in imagination to envision a society where individuals cannot travel, work, shop, recreate or socialize unless they “show their papers.”

A driver license based Real ID will only exacerbate corporate and government abuse of private citizens.

Such a system will not deter terrorists and will not make our society safer, but will make our society less free and more authoritarian. This is a bad idea whose time should never come.

Image Credit: www.farewellfreedom.com


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13 Responses to “The Real ID Act: How Not To Use A Driver License”

  1. bajajoes says:

    I neglected to add that REAL ID also institutes RFID's in every ID. This is already being done in all new Fed. ID since aprox 2008(?) I think they will soon require them in ALL drivers licenses.
    They are easily defeated by wrapping them in aluminium foil so they will not return a signal.
    If the public comes to realize this and it becomes widespread the RFID's will be totally ineffective.

  2. bajajoes says:

    If the purpose of REAL ID is to establish a Federaly recognized ID card, IT already exists!
    Half of Americans already have a Passport or Passport Card, Nexus, or Armed Forces ID.
    It would be immensly cheaper if the other half of the US without these ID;s would get them rather than to redo 300 Million Americans.
    Why should the States have to spend these $$$Millions that they do not have?

  3. corey says:

    Real ID is just a buerocratic oppression system! It’s unconstitutional! They want to block any judicial review because they know it will be unconstitutional. Madbury v madison said that prohibiting judicial review is unconstitutional. They’re supposed to allow the supreme court to hear arguments about it’s constitutionality by law in Article III. Good news is the Bill of federalism in one section will allow states to rescind federal laws which may control their affairs if 2/3s agree. Thats 33 or 34 states. Another section would barr congress from making a conditional policy restricting the liberties of the people.
    DEAR, James Becquart, US v. Miller(1939) was the only decision besides ‘Heller’ to deal directly with the 2nd amendment. The court ruled registration did not iolate the 2nd amendment and that’d most likely because they only listened to the solicitor general. Had the supreme court listened to Millers side of argument, we may not have any gun control laws! Too much burocracy violates the right to liberty! This could violate the 1st, 4th, 10th, and 14th amendments.

  4. Kelly says:

    Real ID is nothing but a “National ID” that is being done via the states. Tying it to Federal Funding assures that the majority of states will comply. WE as Americans DO NOT want a National ID, they know that. WHY then, are they doing the very same thing through the states? There are states that tie their gun permits to their Drivers License records electronically now, how long before they all do? I worked in the IT department of a state DMV these people are drinking the Kool Aid and even finding more ways to spook our citizens!

  5. james becquart says:

    a national i.d. is the first step toward a police state. gun registration is 2nd. hitler mandated gun registration hunting licences and ammunition purchase permits. when they were ready the nazis used that info to disarm the so called undesireables and then the arrest were a cake walk. we are headed there.

  6. SALLY CONRAD says:

    i have never had such a hard time getting a drivers licens as i have had in the state of PA.I HAVE MY ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE,WELL THATS NOT GOOD ENOUGH, IT ALSO HAS A PARTIAL SEAL, GOLD NO LESS, SO I HAD TO WRITE TO MY HOME STATE TO GET ANOTHER BIRTH CERT.I HAD TO GET MORE INFO, FROM THERE AS WELL,BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I HAD AN OLD LICENS FROM MY STATE,WITH MY PICTURE ON IT WASNT GOOD ENOUGH,NOW YOU CANT TELL ME THAT PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES, HAVE NO PROBLEM GETTING LICENS.HOWEVER PEOPLE THAT COME HERE FROM MEXICO, HAVE DRIVERS LICENS IN THIS COUNTRY.I READ IN THE PAPER EVERY DAY THE ONES THAT GET STOPPED HAVE NO LICENS.AND ME WHO HAVE BEEN IN THIS COUNTRY CANT CASH A CHECK,A DISABILITY CHECK,OR DRIVE WITHOUT PROPER ID, EXCUSE ME IF THEY WONT CASH A GOVERNMENT CHECK, SAYS SOMETHING DONT YOU THINK,I HAVE A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND THATS NOT GOOD ENOUGH,IVE LIVED IN THIS COUNTRY ALL MY LIFE AND I FEEL LIKE AN ALIEN, SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE FOR AMERICANS,BY THE WAY IM 59 YRS OLD,I SURE NOT GOING TO BLOW UP THE COUNTRY I LOVE AND HONOR,AN IBIDE BY OUR LAWS,I WOULDNT EVEN KILL MY FELLOW MAN. BUT THE REAL ALIENS CAN COME AN SHOOT OUR PEOPLE,IT MAKES NO SENSE.

  7. Katherine Lehman says:

    Please forward this letter to every contact you can ASAP, and ask anyone who will to return it to Tom DeWeese [Tom_DeWeese@mail.vresp.com] at the American Policy Center * by MONDAY, Feb. 25th.* There is a very real chance Congress will vote on the SAVE Act on the following day. This may well be our last opportunity to stop this very dangerous bill.
    ——————————————————————————–

    February 25, 2008

    The Honorable Heath Shuler

    512 Cannon House Office Building

    Washington, DC 20515-3311

    The Honorable Brian P. Bilbray

    227 Cannon House Office building

    Washington, DC 29515-0550

    Dear Representatives Shuler and Bilbray:

    We are writing this letter to express concerns with two sections of your bill, The Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act, (The SAVE Act, H.R. 4088. Specifically the two sections are Section 201, (Mandatory Employment Authorization Verification through the E-Verify System) and Section 203 (Establishment of Electronic Birth and Death Registration Systems).

    While your efforts to provide immigration reform by securing America’s borders and enforcing existing laws are admirable our differences are in the need for government data banks which snare all Americans in their nets in order to find the few law breakers.

    Freedom is a very difficult thing to protect. The definition of freedom can be twisted to accept anything in its name. Many believe that freedom means being safe. Many now believe that creating a national matrix to document our every movement is freedom.

    The question of whether a National ID is good or bad is really a question of who is the predator and who is the prey. In the case of illegal immigration clearly those who want to rid the nation of illegals are the predators. So it is easy to support such means to rid us of this threat. Some of us may even take pride in being able to “show our papers” to prove “we are American citizens.” It’s pretty compelling – until the same system is used to make us the prey.

    That is our fear, and that is why we oppose any excuse to create even a small piece of a National ID databank system. Inevitably, under such a system, someday we will all become the prey.

    Once begun, even for an honorable purpose, how can the system be controlled? Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff has said, “Again, eventually, this might allow us to do double-duty or triple duty, have the same license also be used to cross the border, and be used for a whole host of other purposes where you now have to carry different identification.” Could it be that those other purposes won’t match what you are hoping to accomplish? Could it be that once such a system is in place it will be out of our control?

    Congressional testimony by Professor Ben Shneiderman of the University of Maryland explains in great detail the problems inherent in trying to integrate existing data banks as a means to guarantee identification.

    “While most proposals have been well intentioned, some have been misguided in that they overlook the potential for unintended consequences or underestimate the technical challenges and risks inherent in their implementation.”

    Professor Shneiderman, an expert in human-computer interaction, went on to say: “A national ID system requires a complex integration of social and technical systems, including humans to enter and verify data, plus hardware, software and networks to store and transmit. Such socio-technical systems are always vulnerable to error, breakdown, sabotage and destruction by natural events or by people with malicious intentions.

    For this reason, the creation of a single system of identification could unintentionally result in degrading the overall safety and security of the nation, because of the unrealistic trust in the efficacy of the technology…

    We must ask whether there is now a secure data base that consists of 300 million individual records that can be accessed in real time? The government agencies which come close are the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, neither of which are capable of maintaining a network that is widely accessible and responsive to voluminous queries on a 24 hour by 7 days a week basis.”

    No matter how much we may desire a quick, easy solution to deal with the issue of illegal immigration; no matter how well intentioned we may be to enforce tough laws to make it happen, sometimes such actions are worse than the problem they seek to solve. So it is with using federal data banks to establish “verifiable” Identification.

    Moreover, the E-Verify System is not designed, nor ready for the massive accessibility required to meet the requirements of Section 201. The SS data bank is dirty. And it was not created for the purpose of authenticating citizenship.

    But it is argued that the E-Verify System is already in existence and therefore not helping to create a National ID Card. Consider this congressional testimony by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC): “Under the newly announced changes, the Department of Homeland Security will (1) greatly expand E-Verify, (2) raise fines against employers by 25 percent, (3) increasingly use criminal action against employers, as opposed to administrative action, (4) add to the numbers of databases E-Verify checks by including visa and passport databases, (5) ask states to “voluntarily” allow DHS access to their motor vehicle databases, and (6) use an “enhanced photograph capability” that will allow employers to check photographs in E-Verify databases. These do not resolve the many problems already in E-Verify; instead, the Department of Homeland Security has made the employment eligibility verification worse.”

    We believe that you are honestly trying to create a method by which Identification can be verified. However, it appears you have accepted the premise that the Driver’s License is the proper means of identification. In fact it is not. The driver’s license is strictly an authorization to drive on American streets and should stay that way. To enforce an ID through DMVs means empowering a hoard of state government employees who were never supposed to have such power, allowing them access to information they aren’t supposed to have and in so doing, creating a false sense of security that simply isn’t valid.

    In order to protect the privacy of the American people it is essential that we decouple identification from driver’s licenses.

    The only proper government entity specifically designed to have such information and responsibility is the U.S. Department of State. It alone should have the responsibility to create documents that establish and authenticate identity and that monitor and permit border crossings. And that is really what we are talking about here – border crossings, legal or illegal.

    In fact, the State Department is now developing a new passport “card” that possibly could be used to satisfy citizen status that you seek under SAVE. It is less than a full passport and it comes in a wallet size that could be easily carried just as the driver’s license. While it is true that the Card contains an RFID chip (not to our liking) the chip contains no personal information – only a unique number linking the card to stored records contained in secured government data bases. The passport Card currently is not valid for flying, but that could be fixed.

    We don’t specifically advocate use of such a card for many of the same reasons argued here. But, if the nation is determined to go down the road of government documentation of American citizens, then something on the lines of the passport Card is preferable to creating a vast new system through state DMVs, as long as its purpose is very narrow and strictly enforced so as not to be expanded for secondary uses.

    If the goal is to secure the nation’s borders, both from the threat of terrorists and illegal immigration, there are other means to do it aside from creating massive national data banks which ensnare legal, law abiding citizens hoping to live in a free country. These other methods can include building the wall; deploying troops if necessary; supporting the Border Patrol; detaining illegals for court appearances; denying services like schools, hospitals and welfare to illegals; denying citizenship to the new born of illegals; denying college tuition discounts to illegals; and prosecuting sanctuary cities.

    None of these things require the establishment of data bases. Recent history has shown that removing such incentives in communities has resulted in lower illegal populations. They leave voluntarily.

    Simply looking to punish businesses by making them the first line of defense when the federal government refuses to do its job by enforcing the items listed above, is cowardice and grossly unfair. It puts a burden on both employers and potential employees (a vast majority of whom are law abiding Americans) rather than putting the burden where it belongs — on illegals.

    As we seek much needed solutions to the very real threat of illegal immigration, we need to disengage from the politics of fear. We are being given a false choice in the immigration war. We are being told that we must sacrifice freedom so that we may have order and security. It’s simply not a true choice.

    As Katherine Albrecht, author of the book “Spychips” wrote, “One of the most surveilled people in history were the Soviets under communist rule. During Stalin’s decades-long reign of terror and the KGB era that followed, government agents could intercept and read mail, listen in on phone calls, and plant informants to probe their neighbors’ political views and assess their loyalty to the state.

    The surveillance was near complete, but did the watchful eye of the state keep the Soviet people safe? Hardly. It seems no coincidence that history’s most watchful regime was also one of its most deadly. Between 1917 and 1987, the Soviet government killed over 60 million of its own citizens – more than any other government in the 20th Century.”

    Freedom is a difficult concept to retain. We live in dangerous times indeed and we must be very careful in our actions as we seek to achieve certain goals. Just because the technology exists, does not mean that it is the solution to our problem. Nor does its existence require us to use it, especially if such use will make this or other problems worse. This is the case with integrating unrelated, and poorly verified data bases which always has unintended consequences.

    In addition, it must also be stated that people of various faiths are opposed to the creation of such government surveillance on religious grounds as a matter of conscience.

    We believe Sections 201 and 203 of the SAVE Act are helping to create parts of a matrix that will lead to a National ID system which will destroy our liberty. Those are the very liberties you see as threatened by illegal immigration. Illegal immigration can be stopped – but if allowed to start, a National ID will be forever. In such a system today’s predators will be tomorrow’s prey.

    For these reasons, the undersigned organizations and individuals oppose enactment of the SAVE Act.

    Sincerely,

  8. FreakinOut says:

    Mark of the beast is gettin’ closer and closer. Is it me, or are we becoming more and more like the old countries of Russia, Germany, and Japan?

  9. lcmotorist says:

    “This is a bad idea whose time should never come.”
    Hear, hear! I fully agree.

  10. glen says:

    i agree with you with my whole heart now what d we do about it!!!thats the no 1 question

  11. dan poley says:

    I for one have no intention of getting a Real ID. When they started requiring a background check to have a haz-mat endorsement on commercial drivers license, I refused and lost that endorsement. Now I guess I’ll just have to hope I don’t get pulled over because I won’t have a license.

  12. Wonko says:

    Anyone who wants to circumvent the system will find a way around it. No system, especially one of this size/scale is foolproof.

    This will only serve to let the government encroach on our rights and more closely monitor the population.

  13. RICK GOLD says:

    FOLKS,

    AND IF ANYONE REALLY THINKS THAT A TRUE TERRORIST WON’T HAVE THE ABILITY TO WANGLE HIMSELF A “REAL I.D.” CARD, THEY’RE DREAMING.

    HOWEVER, WE MUSN’T FORGET ALL THE FOLKS IN LINE TO MAKE MONEY AND ENGENDER VOTES FROM APPLICATION OF THIS FLAWED CONCEPT. THEN AGAIN, MAKING MONEY MAY JUST BE THE OBJECTIVE !!!

    RICK GOLD




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