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Real ID
January 10, 2007 7:40 PM   Subscribe

Are you a citizen? Prove it. Stateline.org, a research group funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, takes a look at how some states are moving to comply with the Real ID Act of 2005 (previously discussed here and here) and how Americans will be affected.
posted by homunculus (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
i was reading this earlier today and almost posted it....great piece, and stateline looks like it's going to be a valuable site.
posted by amberglow at 7:51 PM on January 10, 2007


Looks like my state (Iowa) is slacking off in implementation. Either that or no one in the media cares.
posted by delmoi at 7:55 PM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


How the hell does a passport not prove citizenship? Isn't that what it's for?
posted by oaf at 9:00 PM on January 10, 2007


I got bitch-slapped by this when i got my new NJ driver's license. (It's very pretty, thought, iridescent and plasticized
I'm sure no one would fake it for less than $25--that should stop the terrorialists dead in their freedom-hating tracks.)

And yes, the media doesn't care.
posted by hexatron at 9:05 PM on January 10, 2007


the stateline table is incomplete. north carolina requires first time voters to ID.
posted by 3.2.3 at 9:06 PM on January 10, 2007


I live in New Mexico and I don't recall having to show identification to vote. I did have to tell them my address, though, which was funny, because I could easily read it off the list where the lady was pointing at it. I guess illegal immigrants can't read upside down.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:51 PM on January 10, 2007


I guess illegal immigrants can't read upside down.

they can if they're from austrailia
posted by pyramid termite at 9:57 PM on January 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Racism isn't tolerated here, pyramid termite, along with circle-jerking, circumcision "discussions" and anal fisting.
posted by liquorice at 11:34 PM on January 10, 2007


Good god, that Sara Robinson article (from your "how Americans will be affected" link) is depressing and scary as hell. Things are getting bad. They're going to get a lot worse.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:33 AM on January 11, 2007


To refuse a passport as valid proof of citizenship is the ultimate foolery here.

Maybe the new Democratic Congress will fix it, or, maybe not. The blue is looking rather purple. Whether that's Imperial purple, or a mix of red in their blue, is difficult to say. Perhaps both.
posted by Goofyy at 2:43 AM on January 11, 2007


That wasn't racist, liquorice. Australians are azimuthally challenged.
posted by eriko at 5:19 AM on January 11, 2007


If a passport doesn't prove citizenship then how the fuck is anyone let back into the country? I could have been an illegal terrorist when I returned from Europe last week.
posted by JJ86 at 5:36 AM on January 11, 2007


I spent a while last year driving illegally as I tried to work out how to get ahold of my birth certificate. The - You have to go through a complex questionnaire just to figure out what you'll need.

Nothing makes me as nervous about all this as something that happened to me years ago before it even got this bad. I screwed up and failed to notice my auto insurance company went out of business (my own stupid fault -- I had a depressive episode and didn't read any of my mail for three months). As as result I was driving without insurance, which, in NJ, carries a mandatory one year license suspension (I was pulled over, for all things, for a burned-out taillight). So, in court, I was required to physically hand over my driver's license. Lacking a state-issued ID after that, I went to MVS to get a Non-Drivers ID. They told me I couldn't have one because even if I was not allowed to have it, my driver's license still existed, and you can't have bother a drivers id and a non-driver's id. So, basically, I was prohibited by law from having a state-issued ID*.

I have to wonder how many more people are running into that sort of idiocy now that it's even harder to get through the red tape.

*(When I asked the girl behind the counter what I was supposed to do, she thought for a moment and gave me an application for a boat license. She didn't make me take the boat exam, so technically it was an illegal document, but that's what I used for the year.)

posted by Karmakaze at 6:43 AM on January 11, 2007


You see, the whole point of this ridiculous mess is to make getting a valid state ID such an incredibly serpentine endeavor that people will run, screaming, to the authorities (the feds) to fix it. IMMEDIATELY!!!
Say "Hello." to the national ID card.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:57 AM on January 11, 2007


"The new law creates problems for Americans without birth certificates or those who can’t find them easily. "

For those of us that are generally responsible with important documents, this isn't really going to be a huge issue. Sounds like it's a problem for disorganized folks that lose track of documents and haven't bothered to get new ones. Disabled & elderly folks aside, but here in CA it seems to be no trouble at all for the elderly to simply renew their drivers licenses by mail. Although my elderly relatives (when they were alive) were the ones that always told me to keep track of important stuff like my birth certificate & social security cards.
posted by drstein at 7:38 AM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Where are YOUR papers?
posted by LordSludge at 7:51 AM on January 11, 2007


Sounds like it's a problem for disorganized folks that lose track of documents and haven't bothered to get new ones.

My father, for the first quarter century of his life, didn't have a birth certificate. Turns out what he had was a "certificate of live birth". That document got him through high school, into the navy, and into college. Then he got stuck getting a passport because his military ID was insufficient and he needed his "actual" birth certificate... No carelessness required.

Also, check the link in my last post (the one that takes up 90% of the post because I messed up closing the link tag)... Tell me it's not an incredible pain to get all those documents together, even for an "organized person".
posted by Karmakaze at 8:15 AM on January 11, 2007


drstein writes "For those of us that are generally responsible with important documents, this isn't really going to be a huge issue."

Lots of people, especially older people, don't have birth certificates. They were born at home and if their parents didn't get around to it no paper work was filed. It's so common a baptismal certificate is often allowed as a substitute.

drstein writes "Disabled & elderly folks aside, but here in CA it seems to be no trouble at all for the elderly to simply renew their drivers licenses by mail."

The article states that _all_ renewals by 2008 must be done in person, effectively doubling the number of people visiting the DMV.
posted by Mitheral at 8:37 AM on January 11, 2007


On a slightly different note, I'm glad this isn't taking effect quite yet, as I'm in the process of replacing my drivers license in another state. (I had an OR one, lost it, am now in OH and need to replace it.) When I went to get my birth certificate (just in case I needed it) from City Hall in Boston, I payed my $12 and was handed it. No request for ID (which was good, as I had just lost my ID), no accusations that I was up to anything, I just got my birth certificate.

There were a bunch of black and hispanic people in line with me, some in front, some in back. Almost all, if not all, of them were asked for identification. I am white.

I could have lucked out with this, that I got the one person at the window who didn't care about that sort of thing. But I tend to think that that was probably not the case. So to anyone who believes that these requirements will be followed exactly for everyone, I present my case. It made my life easier, but I felt pretty uncomfortable leaving the building.
posted by Hactar at 10:22 AM on January 11, 2007


Responsibility has nothing to do with it. What happens if your house burns down or the safety deposit box happens to be in a flooded area or or at someplace like the WTC where it vanishes from a terrorist attack?
posted by JJ86 at 10:53 AM on January 11, 2007


No one piece of identity documentation is enough. They're mutually supporting, but as such, they are mutually problematic.

Right now, the weakest spot is the birth certificate for all manner of reasons. It was Carlos Mencia, of all people, who noted that in response to Bush's 'tamper-proof biometric ID card' proposal for guest workers, illegal residents would just produce a fake birth certificate.
posted by holgate at 11:30 AM on January 11, 2007


holgate writes "No one piece of identity documentation is enough."

A passport should be, after all it's all you need to enter the country.
posted by Mitheral at 11:36 AM on January 11, 2007


Ok. Let's say you lived in New Orleans. You got out with your family and what you think was most of your important stuff, but you are missing your birth certificate. NO is notorious for its "low mobility population" (people who live there tend not to move away), and in fact you were born there. The hospital where you were born was flooded out and thus the record of your birth was destroyed. The courthouse suffered the same problem.

Another example. You are a 16 year old boy. You want a new shiny drivers license! You have been homeschooled and thus do not have a school issued picture ID. In fact, you don't have any picture ID. So much for that drivers license.

And this thing places an additional burden on women, who will have to bring their marriage certificate with them to the DMV (or equivalent) to get their married name on their DL, nevermind the fact that that name has been on the DL for the last *murfle* years.

Oh, and the state has to keep all this documentation on file.

Real ID is an expensive crock.
posted by ilsa at 12:13 PM on January 11, 2007


Karmakaze: Why not use your passport?
posted by delmoi at 2:48 PM on January 11, 2007


You're in NO and everything was flooded.

That is going to make getting a plain ol' drivers license a pain in the ass too. IIRC, they were working on addressing the lost public record issue.

An additional burden on women? Oh, cry me a river.

"What happens if your house burns down or the safety deposit box happens to be in a flooded area or or at someplace like the WTC where it vanishes from a terrorist attack?"

Then you get a replacement as soon as you can.

I don't think that this is going to be a huge pain in the ass. It's certainly no burden on me, because I have my shit together. Here we can make appointments at the DMV, or you can wait. you make an appointment, show up on time, and it takes 15 minutes. Last time I made an appointment, they gave me a date that was 1 week out. So if the DMV traffic doubled, it might take me 2 weeks. Even 3. But again, I'm well aware of when my drivers license is going to expire and plan accordingly. DMV sends out notifications as well. Same with your auto registration. Mine is due at the end of Feb and I got a mailing a month ago.

Maybe it's time that we quit blaming the system and take some fucking responsibility. I'm quite shocked at the level of whining in here.
posted by drstein at 6:55 PM on January 11, 2007


drstein thinks "For those of us that are generally responsible with important documents [...]

[...] because I have my shit together."


No sir, you do not.

You seem to be one of those folks who are {physically well/mentally well/economically well-off} but who are sadly unable to stretch their minds far enough to grasp that many, many people are not.

Only a few individuals are disorganized by choice -- and many wonderful, useful people (maybe someone you love) will not have the level of "organization" necessary to cope with increasingly intrusive bureaucracy.

Security theater (Bruce Schneier's term) doesn't make us any safer and diverts resources from real problems.
posted by nickp at 6:41 AM on January 12, 2007


I agree with Sara Robinson, the Real ID law was nothing more than a way to force a National ID.

This country has become a nation of whiny, cowardly crybabies willing to wear the mark of the beast if it means they can check out at walmart faster.

I'm disgusted at what we've allowed to happen to this country in just 6 years of Bush regime. No wonder "No Child Left Behind" doesn't focus on history. Gods forbid anyone actually remember what happened the last time a world superpower forced everyone to carry a national ID.

All this so that we can fight the imaginary Emmanuel Goldstein of terrorism.
posted by dejah420 at 6:51 PM on January 16, 2007


Karmakaze: Why not use your passport?
(a) Didn't have a passport.

(b) It's rather hard to get a passport without either a state-issued photo ID or the ability to drive to a processing center

(c) Many places that require a photo ID will not accept a passport. e.g. for the purposes of paying with a check, most places require a driver's license number to be written on the check.
posted by Karmakaze at 3:00 PM on January 18, 2007


National ID to Be Privatized, Activist Says He Has Docs
posted by homunculus at 4:52 PM on January 18, 2007


Maine Protests Real ID
posted by homunculus at 11:14 PM on January 25, 2007


Montana Joins The Rebel Alliance
posted by homunculus at 4:37 PM on February 1, 2007


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