The REAL ID Nightmare

Want to getaway from it all? How about hitting Yosmite to cool off? Like the idea of just jumping into the car and cruising til you hit a cool park, then pulling off for a spur of the moment picnic?

How about anonymously camping in the wilderness, on state or federal land…. just dropping out for a couple of days to get back to nature?

Well, get over it. Those days are over. Welcome to the new, improved, United States, where as of May 11, 2008 you’ll need a Federally issued ID, called the Real ID (as opposed to the ‘fake ID”) in order to go into any airport, state park or federally run building. Yeah baby! Big Brother is our world.

This act, signed in 2005 as part of a military spending and tsunami relief bill, proposes to weave driver’s licenses and state ID cards into a National ID system by May 2008. States can opt out, but if they do, you’ll need to carry your passport to fly domestically and get into state/federally owned spaces.

In Los Angeles, you won’t be able to jump on your bike and hit a Leo Carillo or Malibu Creek for a peaceful run unless you’re packing your ID card. Especially hard hit will be illegal immigrants who often start out in Los Angeles living in ridiculously crowded conditions and for whom open park areas and beaches are a sorely needed respite from urban congestion.

Yeah, yeah, I know if they’re illegal, they shouldn’t be here…. but newsflash… we’re all people trying to make it work in a dense area and people need nature to stay cool… both physically and metaphorically.

Forgetting about the impact on illegal aliens, this will definitely impact every LA citizen in a negative way. Just one more privacy infringing, have to remember to go anywhere with it, cost producing detail of living in the US. All in the name of ‘protection’ brought to you by the Homeland Security lovebugs. Imagine the monolithic database that will be needed to track every citizen. Think about the ease with which your movements can be trcaed with one click. Oh! No! This won’t invade your privacy. You’ll be safer. And at an estimated 8 billion dollars to implement, who do you think will end up paying for it? Yup. You. And don’t forget…. we live in the land of the free.

19 thoughts on “The REAL ID Nightmare”

  1. The idea of a national ID card is no big deal. I’ve got nothing to hide and don’t really give a shit if anyone wants to follow me running around circles picking up kids, dropping them off or wandering in the various woods and parks in the area. If they really want to do it, have at it. Its a non-issue for me.

    The National Parks already get Id when you buy your National Park pass. The pass then is checked as you entered and compared to your ID and their data base is checked. More to make sure you are using your own card not a borrowed one but it already happens. To visit Mount Rushmore this summer we all had to show ID before we entered the park, again no big deal. Ditto parking at Little Big Horn. It just wasn’t an issue as I wasn’t doing anything ‘cept out exploring with my kids and parents. If they had a single national ID there would have been less time being asked “where is the birthdate on this thing” and moved us along faster.

    Most of the National Forests I go to require you already to take out hiking and camping permits and you need to show some sort of ID already. You even need to outline basic trails and route you are taking so if missing they know where to start looking for the body.

    To get into the BWCA when I was there last in ’96 for example you need to sign in with ID before they give you your payment. This is done to keep the trails and camps from being overloaded and minimize the impact of people in the woods. Not a big deal, certainly doesn’t hurt to know where people are and how many are there.

    To be truthful I like the idea of one ID to be used consistently no matter where you go. Makes it easier to take checks as well as right now I have no idea of Joe Blow presenting the ID is giving me a real or fake id when its from out of state. (I’m a trusting soul so far haven’t been burnt with a bad check at a show but I have no idea if the ID is legit or not). Makes sense to cut down the number of possible ID’s to curb the forgery’s.

    We have State ID already in the form of a Drivers License or simple ID for non-drivers. We all have a Social Security Number. Many states use your social security number as your drivers license number or just include it on your card (Nevada DL# is your SSN#. The use of the SSN bothers me in this use as it includes your DOB and address so ID theft runs rampant there).

    It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. I honeslty don’t see where it will have that big of an impact in daily useage. Having ID to get on a plane is a requirement already. Requiring a consistent ID just makes it easier to pass off a forgery. Most of the world is used to carrying a passport to cross borders so if you happen not to have the Federal ID (or whatever they chose to call it) then your passport will still work.

    The illegals are just an interesting sidebar in this. To be honest I think more time needs to be spent getting immigration reform we all can live with done instead of pissing around on a national ID. The former is a bigger issue internal security than the ID issue and should be the lead item on the legislative “to-do lists”.

  2. Actually, it’s a very big deal. In order to get a “Real ID,” you have to provide photo ID, birth certificate, proof of Social Security number and proof of residence, according to the CNN article linked in the main item above. So unless you can prove where you live, you will be prohibited from entering federally-owned space. Well, there is no law requiring you to have a residence — and people who do not have one are citizens of the country, just as much as anybody else. That means they are co-owners of that federally-owned land. When you bar them from entry, you are barring a co-owner from stepping onto property that he or she co-owns. Something’s upside down.

  3. So “residence” is an hang up for you? Residence is where you reside. Honest, check the websters. That’s also been the legal test in the court system for as long as I can remember. Not a big deal to prove, your water bill, rent receipt or tax bill will show that.

    Photo ID…that’s easy too as most states already give you the option of Drivers License if you have a car or State ID if you don’t drive or are under 16. My kids got them simply because its easier to cough up when needed and less likely to be questioned over no ID or a school ID from a school they never heard of.

    Most other country’s have a single ID you carry for everything. Those that work across borders are used to passports and work visas. Certainly nothing new or unheard of.

  4. The big deal here is not the card but the fact that you will eventually be REQUIRED to carry it. While we currently have state drivers license and ID systems, there is no requirement to present ID on a regular basis unless there is some security (airport, will-call) or age related (getting into a bar) matter at hand. This new system could eventually have us presenting our new mandatory ID at every possible juncture. You will be amazed at how quickly “airport, state park or federally run building” turns into “any public space” as we continue down our path toward a police state.

    Sorry I dont want to sound consipratorial but if you dont see this as a possible outcome of the REALID act then you aren’t paying attention to how fast our rights have been stripped during this administration.

  5. Frazgo, you are really missing the point of the civil liberties/privacy objections to this.

    Suggest you read

    “Many states use your social security number as your drivers license number or just include it on your card (Nevada DL# is your SSN#…. ”

    No states currently use the SSN as a driver’s license number. Section 7214 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 actually makes it illegal for a state to display your SSN on a drivers license. And until 7 years ago, many states didn’t require giving a SSN to get a driver’s license. They were forced to by the federal government in the name of tracking down “deadbeat dads”. (look up the Federal Parent Locator Service).

    “Most other country’s have a single ID you carry for everything. Those that work across borders are used to passports and work visas. Certainly nothing new or unheard of.”

    OK, now you’ve got to be trolling. One of the main points of this country is that you don’t need to carry your “papers” at all times.

    But even if you don’t get the privacy objections to this, its a huge unfunded mandate for EVERYONE to get a new drivers license in person (and dig out their birth certificates). Think of how much money the states are currently saving with renewal by mail/internet… The cost estimates are insane.

  6. Just wanted to throw my vote in Neil’s camp. It’s only a matter of time before hearing “papers please” everywhere isn’t just a cinematic vision of a dystopian future.

  7. Sam…Nevada uses your ssn# for your DL#. Has for many years. Even been there or live there? As a matter of fact if you get a ticket there they will include your SSN in the ticketing process.

    When I read these I just laugh. It’s been signed into law for 2 years already and now its a slow news day and people get their panties in a knot?

  8. C’mon…. whether it was signed into law two years ago (to become active in 2008) or not, the issue still remains…. it’s a HUGE invasion of privacy and a throwback to regimes that lead the way to make citizens into criminals if they don’t have their ‘papers’. Hello Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union anyone?

  9. Sorry, I have to disagree its all a stretch to go to nazism or the old USSR. I doubt seriously if any of the worries being expressed have merit as we have strong enough members of congress, 2 from CA that would have not allowed this to happen and raised their voices a lot sooner.

    Besides, you guys need to be reminded every now and then where the middle group stands to keep you on your toes.

  10. Oh my god. This shit really freaks me out. What the hell are we coming to, and why aren’t we doing anything about it!! Orwell was so right. :(

  11. Get a grip. Go to and search for “real id.” You are overreacting in a big way, and you don’t have a great grasp of the facts.

  12. the devil his due I double checked and NV has ended the practice as well. My brother just got his license renewed in the spring and the ssn# was finally deleted. At least that bit of insanity has ended.

  13. why is no one bitching about the fact that we have to give the California state government a thumbprint just to have a drivers license?

    guess what… I still “live” (and drive?) in Illinois rather than submit to this Orwellian invasion…

    shoot out the camera lights!!!

    legalize freedom. Vote Libertarian

  14. Gripe about it now, but were you out there over the past few years writing your Congress people about it? I was.

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