January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008 - Real I.D.s in the news

Real I.D.s in the news.

Have you had to go in and personally renew your drivers license this year? Take a new photo? You may then have heard about Real I.D.

What is a Real I.D. ?
Prior to September 11th, states were creating security measures to deal with counterfeit driver's licenses, identification cards, and dated licensing procedures. After September 11th, the federal government wanted to create a national id card.

That program takes effect in stages beginning this May, and the first actual licenses are due to be issued by 2011. But 17 states have passed legislation opposing the program, including six that have banned participation. Unless those six states -- Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington -- seek an extension by May, residents will have to submit other identification such as a passport, or face extra screening if they want to board a commercial flight.

While these efforts have caused much controversy, states and the federal government have accelerated efforts to ensure that DLs/IDs are secure.

Also out of the many post 9/11 reports and mandates came the Dept. of Homeland Security's efforts to create standards and guidelines for licenses and IDs. One of the bills signed into law is the Real ID Act of 2005, Title II of Real ID, Improved Security for Drivers License and Personal Identification Cards, which creates edits and directly imposes federal drivers license standards to prevent fraud, and create a system to promote communication between the states.

View information on that document at the Dept. of Homland Security's site:

All 245 million driver's licenses and identification cards will be required to make an in-person visit to their DMV in order to obtain a Real-ID compliant license. As a result, states will need to hire more employees and expand business hours to meet the deadline.

On January 11, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released final regulations to implement the requirements of the Real ID law. DHS estimates the costs for states to implement the Real ID will not exceed $3.9 billion. But other studies put the figure at over 11 Billion.

To read a copy of the Final Real ID Regulations, click here:
Regulations for Real ID

October 2, 2007

October 2, 2007 - Today in Supreme Court History

On Oct. 2, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the first African-American to serve on the high court. Today, Clarence Thomas is the only African-American serving on the court. Yesterday, the first Monday in October, was the opening day of this session of the Supreme Court. The Court maintains a website at where you can find recent opinions of the court. However, the official versions of the opinions are still in print. They are shelved in Government Publications in the Wilson Library under the call number Ju 6.8:.