The REAL ID Act of 2005 poses potentially serious problems for overseas Americans. If implemented, the act would transform state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards into a de-facto national identity card that Americans would have to show in order to board a plane, train or bus in the U.S. and to enter any federal building or receive any federal services. Yet current passports do not comply with the act’s specifications.
The bill dictates that all states collect, at a minimum, personal information from citizens in order to obtain a driver's license, including name, date of birth, gender, driver's license or identification card number, digital photograph, address and signature.
The cards are required to incorporate technology that will upload data to a network when it is scanned. The scanners are to be linked to a central database run by the Department of Homeland Security that will contain all data.
The Department of Homeland Security has promised Americans overseas that their passports will be accepted for all federal purposes. In fact, the REAL ID Act makes no mention of passports, and current passports are not issued according to the standards required by the REAL ID act.
FYI - Real ID Act
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