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Washington State To Try RFID Drivers Licenses 153

tverbeek tells us about a program the state of Washington has approved, to issue RFID-equipped drivers licenses to facilitate cross-border traffic. The idea is to load the drivers license with information proving citizenship, so that (with Department of Homeland Security approval) the bearer doesn't need to carry a passport — which otherwise will be required to re-enter the US from Canada beginning in 2009. The "enhanced" licenses will require applicants to submit to an in-person interview and to show proof of citizenship. A pilot program in Washington begins January 2008. Officials hope for DHS approval of the program before the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 causes a spike in cross-border traffic.
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Washington State To Try RFID Drivers Licenses

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  • Re:Scary (Score:5, Informative)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:34PM (#18481841)
    I was curious, so I looked it up myself: 03628279_danny21.html?syndication=rss []

    Starting at 8 a.m. last Thursday, federal Border Patrol agents blocked the highway outside town. For four hours, every car, truck and bus driving south on Highway 101 was pulled off the road and all passengers questioned. seven undocumented workers, who were shipped to a detention center in Tacoma.

    Carted off 160 miles to not even a jail, but a detention center.
  • Re:Scary (Score:4, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:46PM (#18481939)
    The thing about this is that Forks isn't near any border crossing points, and is in fact in the middle of the Olympic Peninsula. More likely they where trolling for illegals migrant workers. But it really stinks like a "police state" sort of mentality.

    More here: 03628279_danny21.html []

  • Re:Non-citizens? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Larry Lightbulb ( 781175 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:47PM (#18481941)
    If you're a permanent resident or a H1-B holder you're not am American citizen, so you'd still need to have your passport and green card or whatever a H1-B has.
  • Re:Scary (Score:3, Informative)

    by essence ( 812715 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @06:47PM (#18481943) Homepage Journal

    Carted off 160 miles to not even a jail, but a detention center.

    We have detention centers in Australia too. They are full of refugees who try to come to australia via boat without permission. I refuse to call these people 'illegals' because no human being is 'illegal', they are fucken human beings.

    Sad thing is, only a minority of people in Australia feel for the plight of these people. Most 'aussies' are racist, even if they don't admit it (or don't realize it).

    Whats even sadder is that some refugees have been detained for years on end without being processed. Even sadder still, after years in detention, some get sent back from where they came. There was one case I think where someone was returned to Iran to be subsequently killed by the Iranian government.

    Detetntion centers need to be abolished. There is no place for them in a free society.

  • by value_added ( 719364 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @07:43PM (#18482271)
    I've never understood the problem with just getting a passport to cross the border.

    I think this program is targetted more specifically at cross-border car travellers. That said, here's a few reasons:

    1. Most Americans will never travel outside the state they live in let alone outside the country, and see little use in obtaining one, notwithstanding the general native distrust of things associated with federal government.
    2. The passport application requires submission of original documentation. Most American don't even have a copy of their birth certificate.
    3. Obtaining a passport can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
    4. The fee for the passport alone is $67 []. See No. 1.
    5. Driver's licenses are the de facto Identity Card in the U.S. If you try getting into a bar with a passport alone, you could fill a blog describing the looks on people's face when you present it, let alone the different reactions you'd get.
    6. Everyone (presumably) already has a driver license so there is a strong incentive by everyone involved to make use of them.
    7. Passports don't fit into your wallet which makes them more subject to loss or theft.
    8. Passports need to be renewed.
  • Already approved? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rentiak ( 835443 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @09:15PM (#18482823) Homepage
    According to this CNN article, the initiative appears to already have been approved by DHS.

    "The pilot project, signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire and formally approved by (DHS Secretary) Chertoff on Friday" ng.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories []

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay