QuoteDHS has maintained that the Real ID concept is not a national identification database. While it's true that the system is not a single database per se, this is a semantic dodge; according to the DHS document, Real ID will be a collaborative data-interchange environment built from a series of interlinking systems operated and administered by the states. In other words, to the Department of Homeland Security, it's not a single database because it's not a single system. But the functionality of a single database remains intact under the guise of a federated data-interchange environment. The DHS document notes the "primary benefit of Real ID is to improve the security and lessen the vulnerability of federal buildings, nuclear facilities, and aircraft to terrorist attack." We know now that vulnerable cockpit doors were the primary security weakness contributing to 9/11, and reinforcing them was a long-overdue protective measure to prevent hijackings. But this still raises an interesting question: Are there really so many members of the American public just "dropping by" to visit a nuclear facility that it's become a primary reason for creating a national identification system? Are such visitors actually admitted?
QuoteStates will have to comply by May 2008. If they do not, driver's licenses that fall short of Real ID's standards cannot be used to board an airplane or enter a federal building or open some bank accounts. About a dozen states have active legislation against Real ID, including Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. Missouri state Rep. James Guest, a Republican, formed a coalition of lawmakers from 34 states to file bills that oppose or protest Real ID.