…. The ability to travel in the United States is about to become more restrictive as the TSA announces it will soon be enforcing new identification standards in American airports.
Beginning in 2016, passengers attempting to pass through a federal TSA checkpoint will be subject to the requirements of the REAL ID Act. To that end, the TSA will put higher scrutiny on travelers’ identities, and will only accept a federal passport or a “REAL-ID” card, which is issued by the states to meet federal requirements. Passengers will not be allowed to fly through an American airport without submitting to the advanced federal specifications.
Both federal passports and REAL-ID cards require a number of unique personal identifiers to be stored together in government databases, including his or her full name, date of birth, Social Security Number, scanned signature, and other identifiers. Both cards require biometric data: a front-facing digital photograph of the passenger’s face, which is ultimately used with a facial recognition database.
“It is a choice,” flippantly explained David Fierro, the Public Information Officer for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. “If you use a passport when you’re traveling you don’t have any problems. If you use your driver’s license as identification, you’ll need to either apply for the Real ID card or get a passport.”
ORIGIN OF ‘REAL ID’ – The enhanced security measures stem from the passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005, a U.S. law enacted by President Bush that states that a Federal agency may not accept state-issued identification cards without complying with a number of enhanced standards of the REAL ID Act.
The states were given a number of years to comply, and many moved to pass their own laws to meet the benchmarks of the REAL ID Act. Due to some sluggish response, DHS extended the compliance deadline several times.
Unfortunately, most states were all too willing to bend to the requirements of the federal government in order to obtain “state certifications” of compliance. To signify their compliance with the federal standards, many states are now issuing identity cards emblazoned with gold stars in the corner.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, only Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and American Samoa have not met REAL ID standards as of January 2015. By DHS estimates, 70%-80% of all U.S. drivers are already carrying around REAL ID cards or live in states that have received extensions for compliance.
Some states have even gone as far as to require the applicant to present birth certificates, W-2 tax forms, bank statements, and/or pay stubs to verify one’s identity before handing out the new REAL-ID cards. Some cards have RFID chips embedded in them.
Among the 39 benchmarks of the REAL ID Act, state ID cards have to be scannable with a bar code reader, and the states are required to share access to an electronic database with all other states.
Once DHS begins enforcing the REAL ID standards, Americans without a compliant state ID will be effectively prohibited from flying at a commercial airport. Passengers would need to obtain passports even to fly on planes that never leave the United States.
THE ILLUSION OF SECURITY go here–> Police State USA.
“…Today I am also launching a Smartphone App which makes it very easy to apply for the card – the app even includes a feature allowing a photograph to be taken that will meet international standards for passports.
“Those travelling within the EU and EEA will also be able to use the Passport Card and frequent travellers will find this particularly useful if their Passport Booklet is with an embassy as part of a visa application process. The new card will also provide a useful backup travel document within Europe in the event that someone loses their passport while travelling.
“The card and app are further examples of the innovative approach of Ireland’s Passport Service, which is focused on providing a first-class service to Irish citizens. Recent innovations include the introduction of a new Passport Book; Passport Express, which aims to provide a turnaround time of 10 working days and an appointment service for those needing to travel urgently…”
The passport card will be available from mid-July 2015 to all Irish citizens who are over 18 years and hold a valid Irish Passport. The card will have a maximum validity of 5 years (or the remaining validity of an individual’s passport book) and will cost €35.
The security features of the card have incorporated the advice of security experts including An Garda Síochána. One innovative feature of note is the embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse of the card. This is the first occasion on which this security feature will be used on travel documents.