A long, objective article

Chad Vander Veen has written a relatively long, objective article about Real ID at GovTech called Papers Please. It's a good summary of what Real ID means to us and where it's going. I've been raising the concern that states can not know how to implement this law until the DHS finishes specifying what they want. Here's a quote that covers this concern very well:
After May 11, 2008, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, will no longer accept state drivers' licenses unless they have the following data included or embedded: the driver's full legal name, date of birth, gender, permanent address, signature, driver's license number and digital photo of the person's face. In addition, the card must include physical security features -- not yet determined -- and be machine-readable by technology that has not yet been defined.

These undefined elements of the legislation give cause for concern, especially because in less than three years, the entire country will have new drivers' licenses.

"I think there are still a lot of questions up in the air," said Schwartz {Ari Schwartz, associate director of the Center for Democracy and Technology}. "You can look at the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators [AAMVA] standards for some of the issues, like 'machine-readability,' and in the Real ID Act, that term is undefined. It uses the term 'digital photograph,' and that's not defined. It says that [states] need to give 'electronic access' to other states on the back end, and that's not defined. If I were a state, I would hope that would be resolved in the DHS soon."


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