A friend posted the following on Facebook:
I went with Howard to DMV this morning when he renewed his drivers license for the first time since the new government program went into effect. Since we had the required documents with us – certified birth certificate, passport, proof of social security, tax bill, and utility bill it was less of a hassle than I expected it to be. However, there were a few people ahead of us that were told that they didn’t have all the documents needed for a verified drivers license.
I was puzzled by this post and did some investigating. It seems that Connecticut has a new program for renewing driver’s licenses.
The Connecticut Mirror states:
Connecticut launched a campaign today to publicize how to obtain a driver’s license that meets the stricter verification standards of a federal “Real ID” law passed in 2005, but never implemented in face of objections from two dozen states.
Beginning Oct. 3, drivers in Connecticut will have two choices when renewing their licenses: accept a license stamped “not for federal identification,” or provide proof of residence and immigration status for an ID with a gold star.
The Examiner reports:
The Real ID Act, enacted in 2005 in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks, sets forth certain requirements for state driver’s licenses and identification cards in order for the cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official” purposes. The purposed federal program, expected to go into effect in 2017, would require verified state identification to enter government buildings, pass airport security even for domestic flights, and possibly other commercial transactions.
Connecticut rolled out its verified driver’s license and identification card program, called SelectCT ID, in October of last year. Connecticut will phase in the new verified driver’s licenses over the next six years as driver’s licenses are renewed. At least for the first renewal, Connecticut residents are given the choice of obtaining a verified driver’s license or a regular driver’s license. If a regular driver’s license is chosen, it will not be acceptable for official federal government purposes. As early as 2017, people without verified state identification may need to show a US passport for domestic air travel.
So let me get this straight. You don’t have to show an ID card to vote, but you have to bring all sorts of additional documentation to get a drivers license that will allow you to board an airplane as a passenger.
This is a total “Beam me up, Scotty” moment.