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All 50 states agree to upgrade driver's licenses
January 14, 2002 12:59 PM   Subscribe

All 50 states agree to upgrade driver's licenses Congratulations! instant national id. And if you don't have a driver's license, you are either too young, too old, or someone who is un-American.
posted by Postroad (33 comments total)

 
Great. So, because some bad guys have fake IDs, we are going to make it so your fake State ID can be a fake Federal ID! Brilliant!

And what benefit will embedding biometric information serve? Is your bank really going to hire a professional fingerprint reader to make sure it's really you withdrawing $100? What about the liquor store, the airport security rentacop, anybody who takes checks?
posted by ilsa at 1:16 PM on January 14, 2002


I find it funny that driver's licenses are the answer to this paticular 'national security' issue. It all gets back to America's dependence on Middle East oil doesn't it.
posted by DragonBoy at 1:19 PM on January 14, 2002


But others states like Vermont don't require driver's licenses to include a photograph at all.

Argh. Why didn't someone tell me this when I was underage?
posted by jerseygirl at 1:22 PM on January 14, 2002


vroom vroom you unamerican terrorist PEDESTRIAN FILTH!! Don't forget it was john WALKER who was a traitor!
posted by fuq at 1:23 PM on January 14, 2002


I am terribly unhappy.
posted by thirteen at 1:41 PM on January 14, 2002


Why is this a big deal? You already probably have a DL or SID. Obviously, it's not going to do anything to stop terrorism, but it isn't exactly Brave New World, either.
posted by UncleFes at 1:41 PM on January 14, 2002


it's the little stuff that eats us up. one inoffensive, bite-sized morsel at a time.
posted by quonsar at 1:58 PM on January 14, 2002


By the time this whole plan unfolds and is deployed, I probably won't be underage anymore and therefore, won't give a hoot about how hard it is to make a fake ID.
posted by tomorama at 1:58 PM on January 14, 2002


And what benefit will embedding biometric information serve? Is your bank really going to hire a professional fingerprint reader to make sure it's really you withdrawing $100?

There are practical biometric products out there. Mechanical hand geometry is probably the cheapest way to go. Digital fingerprint scanning doesn't need some guy with a magnifying glass, just a scanner and a willing participant. You will need a professional when this stuff needs service though, but for the most part biometrics are ready for prime-time.

The obvious benefit is that your 2nd ID will be your hand, fingerprint, or eye. Not your Sam's club card. The downside is that there will be a sharp rise in cut off hands.
posted by skallas at 2:13 PM on January 14, 2002


if you don't have a driver's license, you are either too young, too old, or someone who is un-American

Thusly if you live in New York City and don't have a license, you are un-American.

Huh...guess we need to round up all those smart NYC residents that don't have licenses and don't need 'em, and send them to Guantanamo. Is that your solution postroad?
posted by PeteyStock at 2:29 PM on January 14, 2002


Is that your solution postroad?


PeteyStock - I'm just guessin' here, but maybe Postroad was being sarcastic, you know, just a little?
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:33 PM on January 14, 2002


I know lots of citypeople who don't have an active driver's license -- i.e., they let it expire at some point. Guess it's time to renew.

Technically state-issued photo ID cards (for people who can't or just don't drive) are the same thing, only minus the clearance to drive, right? Same format, etc.? Just curious.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:44 PM on January 14, 2002


Most likely, State IDs would be included in this plan, not just driver's licenses.

I considering the wide variety of standards in this country in terms of state identification, it's surprising some sort of national consensus hasn't been developed earlier. Despite the high-tech stuff mentioned in the article, the most likely outcome will be determined from an economic standpoint, and hence be relatively low-tech. Barcodes, maybe.

Anyway, we're one of the only developed countries that doesn't require a national ID (often a passport), so we shouldn't be so surprised. It's a shame it took a national tragedy to kick the government's ass into gear.
posted by me3dia at 2:48 PM on January 14, 2002


But others states like Vermont don't require driver's licenses to include a photograph at all.

Argh. Why didn't someone tell me this when I was underage?

Believe me, (coming from one who went to college one year in Vermont), there's no loophole. The default license in Vermont is no picture, however if you want to buy alkeyhol or go in a bar you need to go and get a picture license just like everyone else.
posted by jeremias at 3:07 PM on January 14, 2002


The bottom line is the new cards will be useless unless there are intelligent people who can determine legitimate cards from fakes.

A few years ago I was visiting family in Louisiana and stopped off at a casino. Everyone gets carded upon entering the gaming area, so I whipped out my Australian DL to show the guard. They're similar in style and look to most US licenses, but as the guard grabbed a book to look the license up, I indicated it was foreign. He nodded, and continued looking through the book - which was a classification of driver's licenses and identifications for all of the states in the US. After telling him and his supervisor at least six times that Australia is in fact not a state within the US and indeed is an entire country half a world away, they STILL kept trying to find it in that little book.

Doesn't take much to ruffle the folks who are going to be keeping us "safe" with the new ID cards. I certainly don't feel any more secure knowing bumbleheads like that are out there trying to ensure I'm not a threat.
posted by cyniczny at 3:07 PM on January 14, 2002


I grew up in NY and though I did have a brief driving lesson stint upstate, and later a friend let me drive around in Maine for a while, I've never had an actual driver's license, and I'm 28. It's very sad. I don't even have a state ID, which means I was using school IDs and passports before I got enough wrinkles to not be questioned :).

I really should get a state ID though. Well, I really should get a driver's license, which is why I keep not getting a state ID...
posted by mdn at 3:08 PM on January 14, 2002


mdn, what difference would this have actually made on September 11? In my opinion, absolutely none. Embed whatever information you want on some card -- there will always be someone willing to go far enough to bypass the system. It'll inconvenience almost everyone _except_ the bad guys.
posted by Kikkoman at 3:11 PM on January 14, 2002


Here's a good article on the some pros and drawbacks of implementing a high-tech national ID system. I don't reject the idea of standardizing IDs however as long as I don't have to depend on it for too many things other than personal security and identification. I've read that Italy is working on a universal ID that involves a smart chip and many conterfeit protection features (ie. things most civilians won't be able to reproduce for several more years). The amount of personal information these could contain would be way more than the U.S. would require for quite some time. Also, here is an arguement on how IDs don't stop crimes or lessen fraud.
posted by samsara at 3:13 PM on January 14, 2002


Until fingerprints can be reissued biometric identifiers are too dangerous.
posted by holloway at 5:06 PM on January 14, 2002


And if you don't have a driver's license, you are either too young, too old, or someone who is un-American.

My employer (state agency) requires us to wear security ID badges, and to save costs the Dept. of Motor Vehicles supplys the picture from our drivers license for the badges.

Problem: well, not everyone has a license, solution: our state DMV has non-drivers ID's and our employer paid non-drivers to get them.

When I got my last photo taken for my drivers license it sucked (don't they all?) I figured what the hell, it won't be seen by many people. Now I wear that damn ten year old photo eight hours a day.
posted by DBAPaul at 6:02 PM on January 14, 2002


Isn't my SSN already my national ID? I mean, I say that I am person x, with SSN yza-bc-defg. Via that newfangled device called the in-Tar-net, this data can automatically be crosschecked against any biometric data you care to catalogue.

Really, why make the smartcard mistake? If you put the data on the card, people will hack the card. Make it so that the only data used is that collected off of the person claiming to be x and the secure database that contains x's information. Credit cards > Smart cards, and SSNs > NIDs.
posted by Ptrin at 6:13 PM on January 14, 2002


Woohoo! No more terrorism! Way to go guys!
posted by Hildago at 6:27 PM on January 14, 2002


I'm wondering what the barriers to getting this ID will be. I would assume that that would be one of the ways in which these will make our world so much more secure. So, what if I can't get one? What happens to me?
posted by amanda at 8:09 PM on January 14, 2002


So, what if I can't get one?
My concern is how can I avoid getting one. I am not about to be fingerprinted.
posted by thirteen at 8:24 PM on January 14, 2002


The Electronic Identification of Citizens and Organizations in the Europena Union: State of Affairs (pdf) is a 84 page long document from the 37th Meeting of the Directors-General of the Public Service of the Member States of the European Union, and gives an overview of the status of National ID cards in Europe.

If a national ID card with smart chips, and radio frequency Identification system comes into existence, I think I might change my last name to Stoltzfus and move to Pennsylvania Dutch County. I can't imagine too many Mennonites being herded into line to get their National ID cards anytime soon. Or maybe I'll become a Philadelphia City Councilman.

An article from Backwoods Home Magazine covers many of the arguments against a National ID, and even hints that the efforts of the AAMVA have been slowly creeping up on us since 1996. Epic.org also covers National ID's fairly well - even pointing out that some of the administrative rules passed because of the AAMVA were overturned by the Freedom and Privacy Restoration Act of 1998. Those rules were the ones that required Social Security Numbers on driver's licenses, and which limited government transactions to those with approved id cards. The repealed 1996 law wouldn't let you do the following without a national ID, after October of 2000:

get a job (or even change jobs within the same company)
cash a check at a bank, or open a new bank account
apply for Medicaid, Social Security, or Medicare
obtain or renew a passport
buy a firearm
fly on a commercial airline
get medical treatment from a physician or other health-care provider.

posted by bragadocchio at 10:17 PM on January 14, 2002


The Electronic Identification of Citizens and Organizations in the Europena Union: State of Affairs (pdf) is a 84 page long document from the 37th Meeting of the Directors-General of the Public Service of the Member States of the European Union, and gives an overview of the status of National ID cards in Europe.

If a national ID card with smart chips, and radio frequency Identification system comes into existence, I think I might change my last name to Stoltzfus and move to Pennsylvania Dutch County. I can't imagine too many Mennonites being herded into line to get their National ID cards anytime soon. Or maybe I'll become a Philadelphia City Councilman.

An article from Backwoods Home Magazine covers many of the arguments against a National ID, and even hints that the efforts of the AAMVA have been slowly creeping up on us since 1996. Epic.org also covers National ID's fairly well - even pointing out that some of the administrative rules passed because of the AAMVA were overturned by the Freedom and Privacy Restoration Act of 1998. Those rules were the ones that required Social Security Numbers on driver's licenses, and which limited government transactions to those with approved id cards. The repealed 1996 law wouldn't let you do the following without a national ID, after October of 2000:

get a job (or even change jobs within the same company)
cash a check at a bank, or open a new bank account
apply for Medicaid, Social Security, or Medicare
obtain or renew a passport
buy a firearm
fly on a commercial airline
get medical treatment from a physician or other health-care provider.

posted by bragadocchio at 10:17 PM on January 14, 2002


The Electronic Identification of Citizens and Organizations in the Europena Union: State of Affairs (pdf) is a 84 page long document from the 37th Meeting of the Directors-General of the Public Service of the Member States of the European Union, and gives an overview of the status of National ID cards in Europe.

If a national ID card with smart chips, and radio frequency Identification system comes into existence, I think I might change my last name to Stoltzfus and move to Pennsylvania Dutch County. I can't imagine too many Mennonites being herded into line to get their National ID cards anytime soon. Or maybe I'll become a Philadelphia City Councilman.

An article from Backwoods Home Magazine covers many of the arguments against a National ID, and even hints that the efforts of the AAMVA have been slowly creeping up on us since 1996. Epic.org also covers National ID's fairly well - even pointing out that some of the administrative rules passed because of the AAMVA were overturned by the Freedom and Privacy Restoration Act of 1998. Those rules were the ones that required Social Security Numbers on driver's licenses, and which limited government transactions to those with approved id cards. The repealed 1996 law wouldn't let you do the following without a national ID, after October of 2000:

get a job (or even change jobs within the same company)
cash a check at a bank, or open a new bank account
apply for Medicaid, Social Security, or Medicare
obtain or renew a passport
buy a firearm
fly on a commercial airline
get medical treatment from a physician or other health-care provider.

posted by bragadocchio at 10:18 PM on January 14, 2002


sorry..

was receiving an error when trying to post. It didn't look as if it was going through.
posted by bragadocchio at 10:20 PM on January 14, 2002


Hey, if you're a non-driver in Australia there isn't another form of (credit-card sized) ID you can use. There is no State-sponsored ID system, yet there are plenty of laws that require you to present ID for such simple things as trading in software to a secondhand dealer. Or boarding a domestic flight. Soon I'm either going to have to learn to drive or renew my passport and carry it everywhere with me. Neither option comes in under A$100. (And a passport by itself isn't enough ID for the secondhand thing.)
posted by krisjohn at 10:23 PM on January 14, 2002


Where I live the majority of people have their fingerprints on file with the federal government. I live in the middle of multiple military bases.

So, my opinion is skewed on this, but the thought of fingerprinting really doesn't bother me. I worked on base for a time, have friends who presently work for the government or contractors, family who are military.

What I'm getting at, is many of us are already on file, and don't see this is anything different. Reading the opinions here is very interesting.

(the above post is during a migraine, if it makes no sense, forgive me)
posted by SuzySmith at 12:00 AM on January 15, 2002


Wow. I had no idea so many people didn't have IDs. I'm not just talking drivers licenses. Here in Minnesota, we're a bit check happy. Our fast food restaurants post the fine for bouncing a check for your happy meal. I understand most states' fast food places have a "No Checks" sign. Watching someone write a check for under five dollars is not an unusual occurrance here.
The side effect is that any time you write a check, you usually have to produce an ID. Between that, jobs wanting a copy of your ID and bars wanting to see your ID -- heck, even the airlines want an ID -- I cannot fathom making it through a week without an ID.
I'm not sure if mine is a common feeling, but it could explain why some people aren't that upset about a national ID. I for one would like being able to go to any city and get into a bar without a bounced squinting at me and my funny looking license.
posted by fnirt at 7:48 AM on January 15, 2002


I don't get what the big deal is, I already have to provide a blood sample, an ocular scan, and receive a rectal probe to buy a newspaper, what is the problem with having to submit to a brain scan and provide some bone marrow?
posted by thirteen at 9:49 AM on January 15, 2002


Note to self: cancel newspaper subscription immediately.
posted by Skot at 10:04 AM on January 15, 2002


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