Many states, including New Jersey, did just that with a little prodding from Washington, moving toward producing licenses that are tamper-proof and harder to fake.
But like much of their response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Congress and the administration of former President George W. Bush went overboard.
The Real ID Act of 2005 established impractical standards for issuing driver’s licenses, saddled states with billions of dollars in administrative costs, and called for creating a national database of personal information that actually ramps up security risks for widespread identity theft.
As a kicker, the law provides a draconian penalty for noncompliance: Only a nationally standardized, tamper-proof license will be accepted after Dec. 31 when boarding an airplane or entering a federal building.
Given such a sweeping mandate and the dire consequences for airline travelers, it’s no surprise that Bush-era officials at the Department of Homeland Security kept pushing back the date for states to comply.
With the latest deadline just months away, it’s time to do more than just enact another delay.
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