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More States Challenging National Driver's Licenses 389

Posted by Hemos
from the get-together-right-now dept.
berberine writes "A revolt against a national driver's license, begun in Maine last month, is quickly spreading to other states. The Maine Legislature on Jan. 26 overwhelmingly passed a resolution objecting to the Real ID Act of 2005. The federal law sets a national standard for driver's licenses and requires states to link their record-keeping systems to national databases. Within a week of Maine's action, lawmakers in Georgia, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington state also balked at Real ID. They are expected soon to pass laws or adopt resolutions declining to participate in the federal identification network. Maine's rejection was recently discussed on slashdot."
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More States Challenging National Driver's Licenses

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  • by curmudgeon99 (1040054) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:46AM (#17888738)

    Those of us who work everyday with databases should know the futility of opposing any linkages of all DBs in the world. It is only through government stupidity and lethargy that this hasn't happened already. Anybody who has a DB is going to link them up if at all possible. The only thing we have on our side is the delay caused by government sloth.

    Your best bet if you don't like this is to go off the grid. But we know what an exercise in futility that is unless you're willing to live in Montana ala Ted Kazinsky.

    • by Heian-794 (834234) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:59AM (#17888838) Homepage
      Actually the best way to go off the grid is to expat to another country. If your destination is a place with a non-Roman alphabet, I doubt any databases will be able to link your name to anything without human intervention. Provided that you don't make the $80,000 required to be eligible for US taxes, you'll be able to sign contracts, use credit cards, etc. without the US or its corporations finding anything out. As far as the multinationals are concerned, 'you' are two different people.
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        Maybe American agencies are not used to non-ASCII characters, but I think they are a standard and mandatory feature of every Asian and European intelligence database. And as much as I like to bash American administration, I doubt that they don't have the necessary bridges to track an individual whose name is usually written in, say, arabic.
        • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday February 05, 2007 @10:13AM (#17889604) Homepage Journal
          You might want to read this guy's story about being an illegal in Prague [blogspot.com]. Some brief quotes:

          My employer didn't even know my last name (and spelled my first name in phonetic Czech), I had no listing, no cell phone, no junk mail. I was officially off the grid. ...
          Eventually I went home, and then returned in good financial standing a year later. I worked about a year, and then ran my own business as an illegal alien. Eventually, I got my papers, but it was no easy task. ...
          Now the point is that the Czechs didn't care that I was already in the country. In fact, I had to show that I had already made connections and had resources. If I had been arrested at some point, I would have been out of the running. If I was a criminal at home, they didn't want me.
      • Actually the best way to go off the grid is to expat to another country. If your destination is a place with a non-Roman alphabet, I doubt any databases will be able to link your name to anything without human intervention. Provided that you don't make the $80,000 required to be eligible for US taxes, you'll be able to sign contracts, use credit cards, etc. without the US or its corporations finding anything out. As far as the multinationals are concerned, 'you' are two different people.

        Provided you don'

      • by argStyopa (232550)
        Great advice!
        Let's see the places with non-Roman alphabets: Russia...Japan...China....various Middle-Eastern countries....Israel.

        Wow, there are SO MANY places on that list where I would feel that my private and personal data is so much secure (particularly from government abuse) than here. LOL.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dcw3 (649211)
        Actually the best way to go off the grid is to expat to another country. If your destination is a place with a non-Roman alphabet, I doubt any databases will be able to link your name to anything without human intervention. Provided that you don't make the $80,000 required to be eligible for US taxes, you'll be able to sign contracts, use credit cards, etc. without the US or its corporations finding anything out. As far as the multinationals are concerned, 'you' are two different people.

        Even if you make les
    • by mikelieman (35628) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:06AM (#17888906) Homepage
      Perhaps an Amendment guaranteeing our heretofore unenumerated Right to Privacy?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ArcherB (796902) *
        Perhaps an Amendment guaranteeing our heretofore unenumerated Right to Privacy??

        How does this invade your privacy? Is there a camera on these things?

        • by trianglman (1024223) on Monday February 05, 2007 @11:51AM (#17890934) Journal

          It invades our right to privacy by requiring this card for any action we might take, thus allowing the government to track every thing we do. These will be required to purchase and use air plane tickets (and IIRC, bus and train tickets), when you use any government office, etc. And while this isn't part of the legislation (its only a matter of time), doubtless for most financial transactions such as new bank and credit card accounts, utilities, etc. Currently, no single government agency has the legal right to get this information without dozens of search warrants; once all of this is grouped together, one agency will have full, unmitigated access to do all the data mining they might want.

          Now, you might say, "But thats not what this legislation is for, its to prevent fraud." The fact remains that privacy will be lost and we will face these consequences. Even if the current administration shows restraint with these powers (fat chance of that) others could in the future.

          • by ArcherB (796902) * on Monday February 05, 2007 @12:23PM (#17891528) Journal
            It invades our right to privacy by requiring this card for any action we might take, thus allowing the government to track every thing we do. These will be required to purchase and use air plane tickets (and IIRC, bus and train tickets), when you use any government office, etc. And while this isn't part of the legislation (its only a matter of time), doubtless for most financial transactions such as new bank and credit card accounts, utilities, etc. Currently, no single government agency has the legal right to get this information without dozens of search warrants; once all of this is grouped together, one agency will have full, unmitigated access to do all the data mining they might want.

            How is this different from existing state ID's?

            Am I the only one that finds the irony in states that issue ID's are resisting Federal ID's because they say ID's are an invasion of privacy?

      • enumerations...

        #ifndef _Right_To_Privacy_H
        #define _Right_To_Privacy_H

        namespace Right_To_Privacy_n
        {
        const int None = 0;
        const int Easy_To_Get_Warrants = 1;
        const int Hard_To_Get_Warrants = 2;
        const int Full = 3;
        }

        #endif // _Right_To_Privacy_H
    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:13AM (#17888978) Homepage Journal
      FWIW, the government sloth and lethargy is part of the American ideology of limiting government so it can do the least harm to the people, while doing the most work for us. I'd rather have an inefficient government topheavy with accountability than an efficient totalitarianism.

      Those of us who work with the government (I advise the NYC City Council's Technology committee) know that governments, born to bureaucracy, have the most chance of actually adhering to policies that prohibit invasive DB linking, when the people get involved to stop aggressive officials with Big Brother dreams. They live by those rules and the audits. If they are designed by both policy and info architects, to actually work with the "machinery" of people who run them.

      If you are that fatalistic, and just give up, of course exploiters in government, and the "subcontractors" who love them (and pillaging their data) will track your every move. Only if you do something to engage your democracy will you make it work for you. You are the "dem" in democracy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Dr. Eggman (932300)
      I love the grid life but I want information security too. I don't fear the government too much, like you said, they're lethargic and stupid. But I do fear the government's stupidity. If the government starts linking up all kinds of databases full of information like that found on the driver's liscence to who know's what else, how long until they link my credit history to my information? Surely there's a connection between credit rating to poverty and poverty to crime? Sure, that's not going to be a real pr
    • by pla (258480) on Monday February 05, 2007 @10:01AM (#17889474) Journal
      Those of us who work everyday with databases should know the futility of opposing any linkages of all DBs in the world.

      Those of us who work everyday with databases should also know the reliability, performance, and interoperability of a large collection of databases all independantly designed, implemented, and maintained by different people, running on different platforms, and intended for different purposes.

      Good luck pulling out anything meaningful - You might have a lot of "data", but I'd trust an appropriations bill for an Alaskan bridge before I'd rely on anything you could query from a multi-state DB monstrosity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by garcia (6573)
        Good luck pulling out anything meaningful - You might have a lot of "data", but I'd trust an appropriations bill for an Alaskan bridge before I'd rely on anything you could query from a multi-state DB monstrosity.

        What *you* trust and what the Government is told to trust are two different things. Everyone knows data is skewed. They just want to make sure it's skewed to support their interests and pet projects. If it is, the data is published.
  • by knightmad (931578) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:48AM (#17888752)
    I wish they could take advantage of the timing and challenge other measures like national speed limit and national drinking age too, putting an end on this bastardized federalism that is not only against the intention of the Founding Fathers but very damaging to the very concept of the whole thing.
    • by east coast (590680) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:57AM (#17888820)
      There hasn't been a national speed limit [wikipedia.org] for over a decade now.
    • We fought against the drinking age issue, but congress had tied it to the funding of the roads. IIRC, In the end after 2 years of losing ALL road funding, the state gave in.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        You should have placed tolls (collected simply by cops in cruisers) at all road entrances to your state and had them collect a (large -- think 5-figure or more per-vehicle) toll only from federal (military, etc.) vehicles.

        Ensure that if the feds want to use your roads then they *will* fund them whether its indirectly (as per usual) or directly.
      • by AlHunt (982887) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:14AM (#17888990) Homepage Journal

        We fought against the drinking age issue, but congress had tied it to the funding of the roads. IIRC, In the end after 2 years of losing ALL road funding, the state gave in.

        This is one of the things Americans need to stand up against - the feds holding states hostage.

        Truly scandalous. They take $$$ from the citizens of each state and then hold them hostage to get it back. What they can't accomplish through legislation, they force through coercion.
        • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:42AM (#17889272)

          Truly scandalous. They take $$$ from the citizens of each state and then hold them hostage to get it back. What they can't accomplish through legislation, they force through coercion.

          As de Tocqueville said:

          "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money"

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by siriuskase (679431)
        The drinking age thing comes up just about every time the Georgia legislature meets. The traditional argument is that people old enough to fight our wars should be able to have a drink, so sometimes, it is tied to being in the military. But, that isn't even the best reason.

        Kids still drink, possibly as much as when I was in college. I got totally plastered a few times when I was a freshman, but I always managed to find my way home. I didn't particularly enjoy it. By the time I was an upper classman,
        • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday February 05, 2007 @10:25AM (#17889766) Journal
          Being age 47, I can remember when the drinking age was 18 in wisc. and 19/21 in ill. We use to drive 2 miles to get into Wisc and drink. This encouraged a large number of drivers from Chicago to come out our way (by lake geneva). Big mistake. I have no desire to see differing age limits again.

          With that said, I do think that we should change the drinking age to 14. Allow kids to get past this PRIOR to driving, so that they do not regard it as a big deal. In addition, change the driving so that at age 16-18, it is one child in a car, unless a 21/over is with them OR if a special license (for work/school only). If the teen is caught drinking and driving than the license is revoked until age 21.

          We need to teach our children that having a drink is NOT a big deal but that drunkness will not be tolerated.
          • I would say that we shouldn't restrict 16-18 year old drivers to one per car. Going out with your friends is a right of passage in our county. People consistently say that we don't have any 'culture', and we don't have the quaint 'rights of passage' that many other cultures have. I say that most of us just don't recognize our culture and rights of passage. If you want to reduce the damage that teen drivers do, don't stop them from driving, or dating (that's what a one teen per car does). How about lice
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bogjobber (880402)

            Being age 47, I can remember when the drinking age was 18 in wisc. and 19/21 in ill. We use to drive 2 miles to get into Wisc and drink. This encouraged a large number of drivers from Chicago to come out our way (by lake geneva). Big mistake. I have no desire to see differing age limits again.

            This was one of the main arguments used for the minimum drinking age act, and it's complete bullshit. It definitely was a problem, but its effects were severely exaggerated. If you have a problem with drunk drivi

      • by Thunderstruck (210399) on Monday February 05, 2007 @10:09AM (#17889568)
        Actually, the federal law for witholding funds, 23 USC 158, only calls for a 10% reduction in funding, not the loss of all federal highway funds. The Supreme Court of the United States reviewed this section in South Dakota v. Dole. It held (arguably) that witholding all funds might constitute coercion and be impermissible, but a 10% sanction was within congressional spending authority.

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:54AM (#17888788) Homepage Journal

    The law's supporters say it is needed to prevent terrorists and illegal immigrants from getting fake identification cards.
    Because we all know it's completely and totally impossible for a terrorist or illegal immigrant to have actual IDs from the DMV in their pockets, right?
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:03AM (#17888886) Homepage Journal
      I think this is a valid point because several of the "19" had valid passports and other ID.
    • by gsslay (807818)
      It'll be exactly like the UK ID Card. What it's for is whatever hot-button topic of the month is. And once that has been thoroughly debunked it'll be for the next month's hot-button topic. And so on until something sticks or it's too late....


      And by the end of it all the government will have grafted a shiny new ID handle onto you, all the better to grab you by and put you where they want you..


      For your own good, of course.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mobby_6kl (668092)
      Does Joker [wikipedia.org] classify as a terrorist? Because it's certainly possible for him to get a new national ID card [theregister.co.uk] designed to prevent just such problems.
    • by HighOrbit (631451) * on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:14AM (#17888980)
      My understanding is that it makes applicants prove either their citizenship or legal presence in the country (i.e valid permanent resident visa) to get a license. The 9-11 hijackers had real valid Virginia issued drivers licenses, but they were obtained fraudulently. This makes it harder for them to get one. Once they are denied a driver license, a whole host of otherwise trivial transactions (banking, travel, renting an apartment, etc) become much harder from them to accomplish without attracting attention.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by maxume (22995)
        How does it decrease fraud? It makes a valid license that much more valuable, meaning that the bad guys will be willing to pay more for them, and corrupt dmv employees will be that much more likely to sell them.
    • it is easy for an illegal to get a fake state dmv license

      that's the point

      50 different state models, with only a state's resources behind them, is easier to crack than one big national model

      i would go so far as to say that it might still not be so hard to get a national id

      however, it will be HARDER, without a doubt. no huge bureaucratic system is airtight. but national resources, and one national id card, brings to bear resources on the problem that individual states are ill-equipped to handle. plus. for law enforcement, its easier to vet one card and one database than 50 fractious, differently standardized state models

      • I disagree with the parent on one point. There is no fundamental reason that a given solution is bad simply because a state conceived or implemented it. None of our states are so resource-poor that they cannot take a problem, say standardized ID, and solve it. Now the *quality* of said solution may certainly (and rather likely) be crap, we are talking about government here. But what I am getting at is that the Feds will do no better. If you throw more money and more bureaucracy at a problem, does that
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Magada (741361)

        50 different state models, with only a state's resources behind them, is easier to crack than one big national model

        Excuse me while I go laugh my arse off. Is the notion of single point of failure familiar to you? The resources of all criminal organizations operating or wishing to operate inside the US would thereafter be focused on compromising ONE database and ONE form of ID, both managed and guarded with all the care and diligence that federal subcontractors have become famous for over the years. In the

    • Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be to investigate acts of terrorism where the terrorists have fake ID's instead of real ones. Since most of the folks hijaacking planes on 9/11 had valid passports and drivers licenses, it was relativiley easy to investigte after the fact and if a better job was done of putting the pieces together before 9/11, it may have been preventable. Several of those people were acting strange, not attendng classes, taking flying lessons, etc. Making it harder to kee
  • by emptybody (12341) on Monday February 05, 2007 @08:56AM (#17888808) Homepage Journal
    sorry, couldnt resist.

    watch out for revenous mooninites while you are at it.
  • I sure hope more states revolt against this. We are surrendering our privacy for 'security'. Of course one must realize how few terrorist attacks the USSR and Nazi Germany had that weren't staged. I find it very interesting how the government convinced millions of very independent Americans to be tracked in the first place. Social Security, aka 'free' money.
    • Re:Giving up privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mr_matticus (928346) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:14AM (#17888988)
      Explain to me why a national ID surrenders more privacy than a state ID. It is not as though the federal government doesn't already have access to all 50 states' ID systems. What is the inherent harm in replacing 50 different databases with one database?
      • Job background checks currently only check against the database in the current state
        I reserve the right to commit a crime and run away to another state!
  • Sorry, it needed to be said.

                  -Charlie

    (once again, sarcasm)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:02AM (#17888878)
    Most people don't think much about the north eastern and north western states. But it's these states that have truly helped retain the last remnants of the freedom the Founding Fathers fought so valiantly for.

    So while the people in a state like Kansas focus all their attention on debating whether or not evolution should be taught in science classes, the people in states like Maine, Vermont, and Washington are defending their freedoms.

    Maybe it's a matter of the level of education of the general populace in those states. No offense to anyone from Kansas, but it has traditionally ranked quite low, often at the very bottom, when it comes to a variety of measures. As a whole, the people of Kansas typically have a lower IQ than those from other states. Fewer people there have undergraduate or graduate degrees from universities (sorry, Oral Roberts University doesn't count) as compared to the people from other states. On the other hand, university degrees are extremely common in the north western and north eastern states, with virtually everybody having at least attended university for some period of time.

    So while I no longer live in America, I do want to thank those in the north west and north east who are defending the rights of our nation's people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by green453 (889049)
      I think you may have a misunderstanding of which regions of the US are likely to defend what. Admittedly, the NE and NW regions generally tend to support much more liberal policies, but I think you should keep in mind that states in the midwest, west, and south are the bastions of small government thinking and states rights.

      If you read the article, you will notice that the coalition being formed to fight the realID was spearheaded by a Missourian. If you don't remember your geography, especially the parts a
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Manchot (847225)
        To be fair, even though Missouri and Kansas are neighbors geographically, they are worlds apart politically. Kansas is a decidedly red state, while Missouri is perhaps the swingiest of swing states. (See the Wikipedia page on the Missouri bellwether [wikipedia.org].) The major difference is that while Kansas is almost completely rural, Missouri has its own urban east and west "coasts": St. Louis and Kansas City. As it turns out, the population distribution happens to closely mirror that of the nation as a whole, and as a r
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spazntwich (208070)
      Wow. The fact that you were upmodded to +5 for such a pedantic troll is a testament to the fact that the moderators think they're a lot smarter than they are.

      Your post's most obvious and absurd fallacy is that states only worry about one issue at a time, but I have a funny feeling Kansas has never put the majority of their resources into debating evolution.

      Second on the list is the false premise that the northern states are fighting for "the last remnants of freedom." They're fighting for their last remnant
  • national id, or state id: from a privacy point of view, what's the difference?

    but, from a law enforcement id, it provides a comprehensive framework:

    1. rather than have to prove/ disprove the veracity of 50 different ids, you only need to figure out the authenticity of one
    2. it brings to bear national resources when weeding out the fakes/ questionable ids/ other types of enforcement and vetting

    i understand privacy concerns and what they mean. but what i don't understand is if someone with privacy concerns were to grant that a state id is acceptable, why a national id is somehow any different or more onerus to privacy concerns. a national id, from a privacy point of view, grants no more exposure than that which is lost with a state id

    however, from a security point of view, one national id obviously superior than all the different state models. so what's the problem? it makes law enforcement's job easier. what, you think there will be more nefarious government activity with one big model? one big model that every privacy group will monitor with a white hot spotlight? you think somehow 50 different little models is going to have less shady activity, more monitoring? oh i get it: crooked law enforcement only goes on in washington dc, it doesn't go on in montpelier or bismarck or sacramento. pfft... get real

    of course maine is fighting the model: it undermines their entrenched authority. furthermore, fighting the national id from maine's point of view then has nothing to do with championing privacy rights for individuals, its all about championing the state of maine and its concerns. why does anyone think that what maine is fighting for has anything to do with the fight for privacy? its all about states versus nation, not individuals versus government

    don't drink the koolaid: a national model is superior from a security AND privacy stand point
    • by LM741N (258038) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:40AM (#17889244)
      Its all about money. One more unfunded mandate from the Federal Government.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by korbin_dallas (783372)
      So go ahead point out to us, the Slashdot crowd, exactly which article and paragraph in the Constitution of the United States of America, in plain English, where the Federal Goverment has the authority to require an ID?

      Remember, unless EXPLICITLY stated in the Constitution of the United States of America a power granted to the Federal Governement, then its a STATES or the PEOPLES right. And Maine and the other States BETTER stand up for their rights, or we are all sunk.

      Neither security of individuals, nor
      • according to you, the legal technicalities matter more than the philosophical concepts

        listen carefully, you missed it:

        state versus nation != individual versus government

        why in your mind is your state capitol a better guarrantor of your personal freedoms and privacy than washington dc?

        how the heck does that work in your mind?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jZnat (793348) *
          Well, for one, my state's legislature better represents me and my neighbours than the assholes in DC. I can hold my local legislature far more accountable as I can actually get enough people to care enough to vote out the assholes since the only people who really vote in local elections are those who give a damn about politics anyhow. Hell, it's far more possible for someone like me (without shitloads of money for campaign ads) to be elected into the legislature, so there's far less bribery that goes on.
    • by danpsmith (922127)

      of course maine is fighting the model: it undermines their entrenched authority. furthermore, fighting the national id from maine's point of view then has nothing to do with championing privacy rights for individuals, its all about championing the state of maine and its concerns. why does anyone think that what maine is fighting for has anything to do with the fight for privacy? its all about states versus nation, not individuals versus government

      Which is exactly the point. There's a reason why this coun

    • however, from a security point of view, one national id obviously superior than all the different state models.

      Whoa there! Obviously? Not at all. A national model is, using the security lingo, a much more brittle system than the 50 state model.

      Let's compare a non-standardized 50 state model to a fully centralized national ID card model, issued by a federal agency:

      a.) The fraud vectors increase with the quantity of employees involved. A national ID card system would introduce probably 30 to 50,000 employees
    • by VE3OGG (1034632)
      Now, I have to say that while you bring up some valid points, you also let slide a really big one. While you say that one is by virtue more secure than fifty, I would argue the counter-point. One means that if I want multiple IDs, all I need is someone on the inside of the central DB. Further, if I want to commit identity theft, I only have to deal with one standard as opposed to fifty. Likewise, if I find I am being monitored unjustly from one state, I can move to another, and then to re-monitor me would r
    • national id, or state id: from a privacy point of view, what's the difference?

      The difference is this: a state ID card is an administrative document. It helps verify identity in particular situations, but it is still an optional document. (It's really only tangentially related to driving--it's the driver's record that more important, not so much the license itself.)

      And while the uses of the state ID card are more varied today, I maintain that it's easier to live without one than it would have been 10 or 15 y
    • a national id, from a privacy point of view, grants no more exposure than that which is lost with a state id
      No it doesn't. State ID information is limited to your state, national ID isn't. The fewer people who have your information, the more private it is. Besides, you're (supposedly) giving up your privacy to the state DMZ for the limited purpose of getting permission to drive on their roads. There's no such "bargain" with a national ID. And federal agencies are making a point to share information, combining it with credit information and who knows what else. Your State probably doesn't do that.

      You're probably more secure under a national ID, but you certainly aren't more private.

  • by Cainam (10838) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:15AM (#17889000) Homepage
    If you live in the US, you can voice your opposition to the REAL ID Act by sending your senators and representative a message using the handy form at http://action.downsizedc.org/wyc.php?cid=30 [downsizedc.org]
  • by r00t (33219) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:18AM (#17889026) Journal
    The states don't care about you.

    They have eleventy-billion lines of COBOL to care about.
  • This makes great grandstanding for politicians, but when these states' citizens are unable to open bank accounts, get on an airplane or train, enter a federal court house, or do anything under the control of the federal government or involving interstate commerce, then the other 90% of the people in those states (the 90% who don't care about real id) are going to be madder than hell at the state legislature for dragging the feet.

    I predict their resistance won't last long.
  • Why is there a problem with a national driving licence in the USA?

    I'm not trying to start a flamewar, just genuinely interested in what the key issues of the debate are (I'm posting from the UK). Is it something to do with the federal political make up of your country, or individual states lack of trust in national government?

    I think you have other national level shared data sources don't you - isn't the social security number a national level ID? or is this also only ratified at a federal level? would the
    • (is also non-USA-ian, but wth...) ...is illegal immigration. The major sponsors of illegal immigration*, primarily from Mexico, want to make sure that anti-ID theft measures, border control measures, etc. remain lax.

      *
      Read:
      Various business lobbies (More profits)
      Ethnic lobbies (More voters = more power)
      George W Bush (More voters + God told me to)
      Most of the Democratic party (More voters)
    • by will_die (586523)
      This is not a national drivers license. It just tell the states what they need to collect and how it should be displayed. You would still have to get a new drivers license whenever you move to a new state.
      As it is now whenever you move to a new state you are required to get a new drivers licenses, usally within 30 days of moving. The states handle who is authorized to have a drivers licenses(include at what age you are allowed to start driving), some allow anyone working in the state to get one (legal
  • states challenging (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ankou (261125) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:26AM (#17889096)
    I think that this has less to do with "protecting your rights" than it does with states keeping their archaic way getting you licenced. If you have ever moved from one state to another, you know the total nightmare process it is to move your licence and register your car. Every state has some crazy multi level state process for doing this. Oh no, it would be too obvious to get ALL that stuff done at the DMV, no its to the tax office, then to the department of transportation (not the dmv), then to the court house, then if you are unlucky enough to go to a state that will reject your previous state's driver's licence, you need to take their set of tests etc etc. The processes is so old and confusing, and these people have had these jobs position for years, the above government standardization will make these people jobless and ruin their money shuffling games. The last state I came from still was using PAPER for these registration processes, and it was MY responsibilty to check after a few months that my previous state had actually processed my move. I have had friends who made a similar move where the state they came from STILL had them registered in the previous state, their licence expired in that state and it was a big pain to get it all straightened out.
    • I think that this has less to do with "protecting your rights" than it does with states keeping their archaic way getting you licenced.

      Not to mention the dollars they would lose having the feds taking the fees involved with drivers licenses and renewal fees.
  • Check closely (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:31AM (#17889144) Journal
    This is based on a problem that some states started fighting at least 10 years ago. I has nothing to do with protecting your privacy, it's about money. This is just another "unfunded mandate" from Washington. Congresscritters pass a law requireing the states to do something but don't supply the funds to cover it. The states are supposed to come up with the money out of already tight budgets, sometimes when the legislature is not in session so there is no way to alter the budget until the next session. During the Clinton era many states passed their own bills stating that any law like this would be enforced only when Washington paid for it. In other words: Don't tell us how to waste our money, we are already very good at that and don't need your help!

    If half the money taken in taxes was actually spent wisely, most people would quit complaining.
  • by OldeTimeGeek (725417) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:40AM (#17889240)
    It's a money thing.

    According to a report [ncsl.org] from the National Conference of State Legislatures, it'll cost states 11 billion dollars to comply with the Real ID act. There was no money put aside in the bill for states to comply, just a mandate to do so. California is looking to spend between 500 and 700 million dollars alone.

    I'm not saying that the fine people from the states that are holding back are less than honest - some of them probably feel that privacy is important. But when your state's already facing a budget deficit - as most are - yet another unfunded Federal mandate is going to get a less than warm reception.

  • Uncle Sam Bush (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Doc Ruby (173196)
    George Bush is a champion of states' rights [google.com]. His Republican Party stands for keeping Uncle Sam out of most private info [slashdot.org], and out of your bedroom [dailydoseofqueer.com].
  • highway funding (Score:4, Informative)

    by JimBobJoe (2758) <swiftheart AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:41AM (#17889258)
    For what it's worth, the original slashdot discussion had a lot of people incorrectly assuming that Maine was giving up highway funding in order to reject the REAL ID Act.

    The REAL ID Act doesn't affect funding at all, and promises no money to states in order to meet REAL ID Act requirements.

    Maine's decision only means that Maine licenses after the deadline will not be REAL ID Act compliant and will not be accepted for identification by the Department of Homeland Security (which, for all practical purposes, means a slight change on how one travels by air.)

    Having said that, the REAL ID Act also allows for mixed issuance systems--where a state would issue both Real ID Act compliant license documents, and non-compliant documents, with the requirement that the non-compliant documents indicate their non-compliance.

  • by Goose3254 (304355) on Monday February 05, 2007 @09:58AM (#17889438)
    Then we track all purchases via national ID numbers (we just got an alert that a licensed driver purchased 4 drinks in an hour, and the master control programs reports his GPS phone is moving outside the public transportation grid, better dispatch a pursuit car)...
    Then we socialize medicine...
    Then we use the info from the purchases to determine if you get healthcare (cigarettes and fast food, no doctor for you my friend)...
    Then we see who are buying fast expensive new cars...
    Then we investigate them cause they're obviously not paying enough in taxes or insurance...
    Then we start tracking all gun and ammo purchases, cause anyone with a gun is obviously a terrorist...

    The modern push for federal control in what is and should be states rights started in the modern day with the speed limit...at the time it seemed sensible, there was an energy crisis. Then helment laws, it only affected a small part of the population so what's the difference, next drinking age, it makes sense after all to protect the children. But the real starting point was in the mid-1800's and tarrifs on cash crops from the south...the northeastern states wanted the products but the overseas market was paying more. How to solve the dilemma? Get the House (populated by the densely concentrated north) to pass a tarrif that canceled out any profit.

    Next we'll hear how cool it is to have an RFID implant that makes accessing your now national information so fast and easy...Not hard to do if you think about it...we require newborns basically to have a social security number now when they are YEARS from being on the tax roles...

    • The scenario you paint can be accomplished just as easily by a state government, while simultaneously getting away with even more egregious violations because people don't pay that much attention to their state governments. Unless you live in a state like California where the state has lots of money to throw around, you hear about the states about once a year. All the attention and distrust is aimed squarely at the federal government while states get away with murder. If you want to see wasteful spending
  • Without Real ID Congress will never authorize replacing Passports with Driver's Licenses. In most some instances now and within the next year no-one will be able to enter the US without a passport, at at $80-$100 [state.gov] per person, this pretty much blocks low income folks from leaving the country even for Mexico/Canada/Cruise Ship visits.
    • by will_die (586523)
      For Canada, Mexico and maybe a few other places there is/will be a cheaper card which will cost $50 or less. It is all part of the US PASS.
  • I recently moved from Florida to Pennsylvania and DL databases are already linked, having national database and national drivers license would actually be a really nice thing.

    To get my car registered in PA I needed to get PA insurance. Figuring I'd do it all in one trip I got PA insurance, canceled my FL insurance and headed down to the DMV. Because my FL insurance was canceled, FL suspended my DL. Because FL suspended my license and PA checks that with their already connected DBs, they won't issue me a lic

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