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New ID Reals May Cause Travel Problems

By Tim State in News on Jan 13, 2008 8:40PM

01-13-08_Chertoff.jpegAir travel could get a little harried for Illinois residents this spring. Illinois is one of seventeen states that have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to the post-9/11 REAL ID Act’s provisions over concerns it could cost too much to implement. The law is designed to make driver's licenses more secure.

On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced the final details of the rules, and said that states have until May 2008 to comply or ask for an exemption. On Saturday, Secretary of State Jesse White said that the State would be asking for more time to implement the REAL ID Program. The extension will give the State until January 2010 to comply, without which travelers from Illinois would have to use passports or another form of Federally-issued identification.

The REAL ID program established national standards for state drivers licenses and ID cards. Some provisions include photographing the applicant at the beginning of the process so if the applicant is denied the ID, there is a photographic record of the individual; three layers of security systems built into the cards; and state DMV offices being required to verify birth certificates and check with other states to verify the individual doesn’t have an ID from another state.

Michael Chertoff photo by Alex Wong via Encyclopedia Britannica.