U.S. Department of Homeland Security Postpones Real ID Act Effective Date

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has postponed the effective date of the Real ID Act until Jan. 15, 2013. This decision allows Americans to continue using their driver’s licenses to travel by air after May 11, 2011, the Act’s initial effective date, according to a CNET article.

Homeland Security delayed the Act’s effective date after receiving a high level of criticism for what many are deeming “a digital nationalized ID.” In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures lists 16 states with laws forbidding them to comply with Real ID and eight states that have enacted resolutions boycotting it.

According to the article, once the regulations take full effect, “U.S. residents would not be able to only use their driver’s license to fly or to enter a federal building such as a courthouse, even for jury duty. U.S. passports or military IDs, however, would remain valid for identification.”

Real ID links state DMV databases, establishes a standard bar code that can be digitally scanned, and mandates that original documents — such as birth certificates — be verified.

The National Governors Association responded to the delayed implementation of the Real ID Act by saying, “Governors have long said that Real ID, in its current form, is unworkable. That has not changed. Extending the compliance deadline allows states and the federal government more time to find solutions that work. Arbitrary deadlines that only keep people from boarding an airplane do not make the impossible possible.”

For more information on the Real ID Act and its new effective date, read the full article:http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20039568-281.html