But Homeland Security also has let the states know that licenses from states that opt out of Real ID won't be accepted as identification from anyone wanting to fly on or enter a commercial aircraft beginning this spring.
Beginning this spring.
According to The Los Angeles Times, the deadline for compliance to Real ID has been postponed 5 years. But! Residents of states that are resisting Real ID can be penalized beginning May 2008. No air travel for you!
But under the administration's new edict, states that continue to fight compliance with the law face a penalty: Their residents will be forbidden from using driver's licenses to board airplanes or enter federal buildings as of May 11 of this year.
Edict is quite a nice word, don't you think? Yup, they are using serious language (which is politics-speak for "It's ON!"):
"Come May 2008, [their] citizens . . . will feel the consequences" of the states' resistance, Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke said Friday. To board a plane or enter a federal building, those residents will have to use a passport or other form of accepted identification, he said.
But if no state can possibly comply by May 2008, then how will anyone be allowed to travel by plane? By "rewarding" the citizens of good, compliant states!
States that are moving toward implementing the law can request a waiver from the May deadline, and their driver's licenses will remain valid for security purposes, the agency said.
Oh my goodness! We citizens of the unruly, noncompliant states can still use our passports to get on the plane--because, you know, it's a form of FEDERAL identification. Getting my passport has been on my list of things to do for some years now--but now I don't wanna.
Argh. Don't you just love being controlled?