New ID requirements for travel WITHIN the United States?

So, I was in the local driver’s license office having a restriction removed from my commercial driver license, when I noticed a poster from the Texas Department of Public Safety on the wall. The poster reminded citizens that they would need to provide proof of US citizenship when renewing their licenses or ID cards in order for the new card to meet the Real ID law. In my case, I had to provide my passport, even though my existing license already met the Real ID standard.

But, the part of the poster that really caught my eye was the headline. It said “Effective October 1, 2020, there are new rules for IDs needed to travel within the United States.”

Why does any American need an ID to travel WITHIN the United States? I’m not talking about driving a car, flying a plane, or otherwise exercising a privilege. If I walk from my home state of Texas into New Mexico, will some New Mexico officer say “Papers please”? When did this happen?
Only for flying.

Googling the text you provided, this looks like a TSA requirement for flying within the US.

And the deadline of October 1, 2020 was extended a full year because of the pandemic.

Actually, the “Rreal ID” stuff came from the response to the 9/11 attacks. Which was now 19 years ago.

The implementation date for real ID for air travel has been pushed back year after year after year. And as said just above, was just recently pushed back another year.

Why does it keep being delayed?

Because of a combo of laziness & underfunding at state driver’s license bureaus, and a strange confluence of law and order hard right state governments refusing to comply with the laws and orders.

Something about “freedom”. They hate undocumented aliens, but refuse to put into place the tools needed to identify them. They claim to hate criminals but want to keep it easy to obtain and maintain fake IDs. It’s all hard to fathom if one believes there’s anything consistent or principled in their objections.

Yes, this. I have an appointment to get my real ID tomorrow and the only reason to bother to gather up all the documentation - which for me included procuring a new copy of my lost birth certificate - is that eventually I’m going to have to fly for work again.

To clarify, for anyone confused about the date: the deadline is presently October 1, 2021, not 2020.

And furthermore, you don’t have to have a Real ID, you can also use a passport, passport card, or any other of a long list. Basically, the only thing you can use now but won’t be able to use is an ordinary driver’s license.

In my state and some others, the problem has to do with the US government mandating something but not giving the states any money to do it. After 9/11, Pennsylvania put a lot of money into redoing their driver license system to make it more secure. After implementing it, the US government mandated something different, but refused to give the state any funding to change what they just implemented.

I’d like some proof that “real ID” does any of those things better than a “regular ID”

Well, that goal ran into a problem we’ll get back to shortly. A valid point there was about “Regular IDs” 20+ years ago was that they proved whatever each state wanted them to prove, and Uncle Sam wanted them all to prove some same things – create nationwide standardization of what credentialing is required to make a state-issued ID acceptable in order to access certain federally contolled activities and locations. This is actually not that bad in the sense of being able to rely on that for issuing their ID Virginia asks the person with my face to evidence at least his citizenship, age, birthplace and residence to the same extent and with the same evidence as does Puerto Rico or Florida or California, so the feds can accept them all. Doesn’t actually prove metaphysically that that IS “me” but it creates a paper trail that checks the boxes.

Driver Licenses as de-facto ID documents is something that was sort of stumbled upon as the 20th century went along. Strictly speaking the DL is supposed to be just evidence that the holder passed a driving test. They did not even use to have pictures, and the personal identifying part of it, later to include pictures, was for enforcement purposes related to driving and traffic. Because of the law enforcement component, it became customary to expect it to be a reasonably reliable proof of age and residence so it became used for things like carding for age and check cashing and it kept going from there.

Mission creep set in with the DL as it did with the SSA number as IDs when they were never designed for it, in great measure because the American utter phobia about there being an actual Citizen Identity Document issued officially to everyone. Because “of course” next thing after that is “your papers please” and being jailed for not having it on you 24/7 because “of course” why else would it exist :roll_eyes: So instead let’s commandeer some other document even if it doesn’t tell you much about the person and can be “gamed”. In the post-9/11 “don’t just stand there, DO something” rush, Real-ID was imposed because ot was the most that would be acceptable and even then it has been a mess ever since for reasons mentioned upthread.

And it is basically racist. It is aimed at the poor and the undocumented who soon wont be able to fly.

Yes all good points.
But how does a “real ID” identify illegal aliens any better than any other Id? Or stop bad actors from flying?

Here in IL the ONLY difference in the actual ID’s is a gold star. How does that prove that greater care was taken in verification.

Because they only put the gold star on licenses of people they have verified are citizens.

It doesn’t. But since we can’t or won’t do what it takes to achieve that, we get Real ID instead.

That’s just the standard thing they’ve done to signal that this particular card was issued after going thru the whole rigmarole. Could a state decide to just print it for the lulz and not do the process? Doubtful. OTOH could a DMV branch supervisor in Pensacola or Detroit decide he’ll make a nice side hustle getting people starred cards for a consideration? That I could see.

I guess that’s my greater point.
ANY form of ID is gameable, so making the ID requirements more stringent doesn’t change that. It just puts a greater burden on the average person.
AND it excludes a certain portion of the population.

Maximum sound and fury, minimum significance.

I’m in Canada and we’ve been using our passports as ID whenever we travel within Canada and have done so for many years. Same If we’re in the us and simply making a connecting flight from one us destination to another. I guess I’ve never thought about it being a thing.

Googling, only 42% of Americans have a passport (and I’ll bet that only a very few have any of the other forms of ID that qualify), so many are going to need a Real ID license to fly. (Plus you have to remember to carry your passport with you when you go to the airport and that’s not as automatic as remembering your driver’s license.)

When I was 19 and had just moved to Pennsylvania, I wanted to see I am Curious (Yellow). Being an X-rated movie I was asked for an ID and I proffered my California driver’s license. It had my picture, my signature, my thumbprint, my birthdate, and – although the cashier wouldn’t know this – a white backdrop behind my photo, denoting I was more than 17.

The cashier was dubious so I pulled out my draft card and said, “Do you really think I’m gonna register for the draft early just so I can see a nekkid movie in black and white?” He reluctantly sold me a ticket.

Boy, I thought to myself, Pennsylvania drivers licenses must really be something. When I got one a few weeks later it was the unlaminated stub of an IBM card. It had my name, my birthdate, and my signature – albeit signed on the license itself, not a facsimile as on the CA license.

Real ID is needed to fix a flaw in the system. Before all you needed was a birth certificate, which could be fake to get a drivers license at any DMV office. It was easy to get someone to look the other way and issue you a license if you were in the country illegal. Once you have the DL, you could get additional ID’s.

With Real ID, all licenses come from a single centralized office for the entire State. You have to provide three pieces of identity to get a DL. There is no one to bribe, so only the right people will have a Real ID. But as said, you can continue using a Passport, which required the same level of scrutiny to obtain as Real ID.

Not sure about the travel between States thing. I believe you read it wrong. The Constitution says there is free travel and commerce between States.