What the Cock is this Real ID Shit


Apparently 17 years ago the US gubmint passed a law that’s starting to take effect now-ish, requiring a extra-special super ID.  When I first heard people talking about this, I assumed it was a voter disenfranchisement scheme implemented by various states, but I recently found out it’s federal.  There’s a copy of the law here and I can’t understand every part of it, but I hear it’s going to be required for interstate air travel.  I don’t cotton to it, no sir.

Can anybody in the know explain anything I should know about this bullshit?

ETA:  One interesting requirement I noticed is that you’re not allowed to have a legal driver’s license in more than one state at a time.  You literally have to get one state DL cancelled to get another.  Ridiculous.

 

Comments

  1. Dave says

    If your DL has a star in the corner (mine’s in the upper right), then your state’s DL is a “Real ID” and you don’t have to do anything to get one.

  2. says

    It does not have a star. To get one I’ll need a certified copy of my birth certificate which can only be requested with a notarized form, so I have to visit a notary to even have the privilege to pay close to fifty bucks to get the thing (processing takes months) to request the thing (processing takes weeks and costs more money). Also fun, seems like these require at least passive RFID? Given ID thieves can scan RFID at a range of several feet unnoticed, this doesn’t seem like it’s really helping security all that much, does it? Unless I don’t know something about something, which is definitely possible.

  3. moarscienceplz says

    IANAL, but my understanding is that REAL ID is only required in order to board an airplane, if you don’t present a passport.
    You do not need it if you have a valid (say) Michigan driver’s license and plan to drive in (say) Indiana.
    This is merely a tightening of the rules for air travel inside the USA and its possessions. International air travel still usually requires a passport, and thus the REAL ID would be useless in most of those cases.

  4. lanir says

    If you have to do something extra to get it, you may as well just get a passport. Everything in that law seemed imed at your secretary of state. You’re not the intended audience. The additional benefit of a passport is you can easily travel outside the US. I think they cost around $100 but don’t require any more info.

  5. Katydid says

    Real ID is a lingering annoyance from the Bush era Security-Uber-Alles. As said above, you need it to fly if you don’t have a passport.

    I got the Real ID driver’s license at the start of the pandemic, which is also when I learned that the birth certificate I’ve been using my whole life to prove citizenship for college and when starting jobs, get a passport, etc. etc. … was not actually a valid birth certificate, just a “certificate of live birth”. So I had to send away for a “real” birth certificate. Took a month during the pandemic; should be quicker now.

    Blame Bush, who allowed his Saudi friends to fly home with no hassles on and just after 9-11, but didn’t trust the average American.

  6. lochaber says

    I thought I saw something about needing it to enter federal(?) courthouses, in addition to flying.

    I kinda wonder what happens to people involved in federal court cases without one of these, even as just a prospective juror? automatic contempt of court or something?

  7. says

    3 – that’s my prob, i travel by plane inside the US sometimes and have no car, no license.

    4 – i need the certified birth cert, money, going to a gov office in person, all that either way. i have no call in the knowable future to leave the country, but it’s not a bad idea. passport is more useful.

    5 – oh it still takes up to 2 months for the certified birth certificate from my home state.

    6 – entering federal facilities, yes, needed for that. i suspect there are exceptions of some kind for facilities you’re legally compelled to enter (no idea rly, your scenario is darkly amusing), that it would be more relevant for military bases and such.

  8. anat says

    Washington state has 2 levels of driver’s license/state ID – a ‘normal’ level and a ‘Real ID’ level. For the normal level you don’t need to prove your legal status. This allows undocumented people to drive legally, which is probably much safer than having lots of people who drive without any formal instruction or proof of basic driving skills. However the more Washingtonians who are citizens have ‘Real ID’ issued the more the ‘normal’ license becomes a proxy for being undocumented (it never can be proof of that, plenty of people are here legally while not being citizens). So perhaps people who don’t fly frequently would do better by keeping the cheaper ‘normal’ ID and using a US passport to travel, just to dilute the proxy effect?

  9. says

    that is very good information. my post had some speculation on the real motivations of this law and that does seem like it might have been one. “security” doesn’t seem much helped by this, as far as i can tell.

  10. moarscienceplz says

    Apparently, it is true that a REAL ID is theoretically desired for one to enter certain federal offices, but the Constitution is still (mostly) the law of the land, and if some *censored by GAS* cop tried to keep me out, I would sic the ACLU on them.
    And yes, this is a blatant attack on undocumented people in the USA, so I utterly refuse to get one, and any conservative meathead (but I repeat myself) who doesn’t like it can eat my shit!

    **Great American Satan here. I censor language that hurts my SJW feelers, sorry.

  11. StonedRanger says

    I have no plans to fly anywhere anytime soon. They can stick that ID up their nether regions for all I care. Not going to get a passport either. If I cant drive there, I guess I dont need to be there all that badly. It protects no one, and just puts more of my money in the government pockets so the crooks in government can steal it easier.

  12. K says

    Thank the rightwing for the terror of the other for the Real ID requirement The Real ID costs no more than the regular driver’s license. It requires birth certificate, a copy of a service bill (utility bill, cable bill) and something else; I used the mail requiring me to go as proof of ID.

  13. K says

    @GAS: raw deal, man. I’m sorry. In my state, there’s no extra charge for Real ID.

  14. says

    I suspect WA state does this because there’s no state income tax, so they have to tax and fee the shit out of everything else to have a hope of breaking even in state budget, which falls disproportionately on the poor and middle class. Sadly the middle class here are reliable tools for the rich, voting even against income taxes that would never affect them.

  15. mastmaker says

    As long as I was on H1 visa, I refused to consider a real ID, because of the following (forgive me if it is a little too complicated):
    1. I got my DL as a H1 visa holder back in the day just before they changed rules about it. So, I get mine renewed (by mail, mostly) every 5 years, no questions asked.
    2. Once they changed the rules, the DLs – for non-citizens/non-residents are now valid ONLY for the length of your visa. This means, sometimes having to renew your DL every year, and sometimes being unable to renew for months at a time because your visa hasn’t come through yet. Nightmares galore! One of my friends (and his family) actually suffered more than a decade through this, so I know all the intricate and gory details.
    3. If I needed a ‘real ID’, I had to go and ‘prove’ my legal presence in this country, which means this hell will start afresh for me, who can do without ‘real ID’ all the same because I have to have a (foreign) passport anyhow.

  16. says

    Real ID is only needed if you don’t use a passport. If you have a valid passport, just use that.
    But the whole security surrounding air travel is a load of nonsense anyway.

    My only question is if you’re ok with a passport, then why not a Real ID? If you’re opposed to passports, then I can understand also being opposed to Real ID.

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