Americans Clueless about Danger of REAL ID
February 8, 2016
**To receive this weekly commentary directly in your email, CLICK HERE.
Americans ignore REAL ID at their peril. In 2005, Congress added REAL ID to a war appropriations bill in the middle of the night without public discussion. REAL ID is an unconstitutional power grab – a National ID card – that eliminates state’s rights and gives the federal government control over all citizen identification, movement, and access to goods and services – but only if state legislators agree to conform.
Wayward Republicans in Minnesota are pushing REAL ID, claiming the feds require it, while worried Pennsylvania lawmakers are appealing to President Trump under state’s rights.
We did a video explaining the facts and dangers:
Here are six false claims and countering facts:
You won’t be able to fly without a REAL ID.
FACT: The 2008 REAL ID rule issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says, “Individuals without a REAL ID-compliant document will still be able to enter Federal facilities and board commercial aircraft, and these rules cannot determine what alternative documents are acceptable for these purposes.” The Transportation Safety Administration says you can fly without any ID, but you’ll go through additional security screening.
States must comply with the federal REAL ID Act.
FACT: Under the 10th Amendment, states cannot be forced to implement federal law, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Printz v United States. DHS cannot commandeer the states. Thus, five REAL ID compliance “deadlines” have come and gone since 2008.
Citizens can choose a “non-compliant” license.
FACT: If states conform, they’ll issue a “for federal purposes” driver’s license and ID card. States can choose to issue a “not for federal purposes” driver’s license and ID, but both cards must comply with REAL ID requirements. DHS dictates design, requirements and use of both driver's licenses and IDs.
REAL ID is not a Federal ID.
FACT: The “for federal purposes” card must be used for “official purposes.” The federal REAL ID Act defines “official purpose” as "accessing Federal facilities, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants, and any other purposes the Secretary shall determine.” In the future, buying ammunition, accessing medical services (“no card, no care”), driving or hotel registration could be deemed an “official purpose.”
There is no national database.
FACT: The REAL ID Act requires state motor vehicle divisions to open their database to all other states. It’s a hub and spoke system, a decentralized “distributed database” with a central hub, 50 state spokes and a pointer system. Conforming states must send a list of data to the hub, which acts as a central index of all drivers and ID holders. The system is called “State to State Exchange” (S2S).
Only three states have not complied with REAL ID.
FACT: According to DHS, 25 states have not conformed (20 have been granted extensions and five have not). Recently, 116 Pennsylvania legislators wrote President Trump saying, “Given that the REAL ID Law inserts the federal government into a power reserved to the states, we believe that Congress had no constitutional authority to be involved in drivers’ licensing.”
A national ID system cannot be fully implemented unless all 50 states conform. Don’t be persuaded by false claims. Stop the unconstitutional REAL ID in your state.
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder