New Driver License Rules

Last Revised on January 23, 2008

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Controversial security measures will require millions to get new driver’s licenses. Want to know who is affected by change in that law?From now on, people who are born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to obtain a more secure driver’s licenses in the next six years. This is due to the post-9/11 security rules put forth by federal officials.

United States Defense and Security departments have spent many year since 9/11 to make a regulation of REAL ID Act, which makes it harder for any terrorists, con artists or illegal immigrants to get any legal identification issued by the state or the federal government. REAL ID still faces stiff opposition from civil liberties groups however.

US government is now planing to set up a secure ID initiative that Congress passed into law in 2005. By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

During the beginning of application process, the traditional driver’s license photograph is to be taken so that should someone be rejected for failure to prove identity and citizenship, the applicant’s photo would be kept on file and checked in the future if that person attempted to con the system again.

The Real ID cards will have three layers of security measures but will not contain microchips as some had expected. States will be able to choose from a menu which security measures they will put in their cards.

Most states currently check Social Security numbers and about half check immigration status. Some, like New York, Virginia, North Carolina and California, already have implemented many of the security measures envisioned in REAL ID. In California, for example, officials expect the only major change to adopt the first phase would be to take the photograph at the beginning of the application process instead of the end.

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