National Driver's Licence (Real ID Act 2005)


Senior Community Member
  • After May 11, 2008, "a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements" specified in the Real ID Act. States remain free to also issue non-complying licenses and ID's, so long as these have a unique design and a clear statement that they cannot be accepted for any Federal identification purpose. The federal Transportation Security Administration is responsible for security check-in at airports, so bearers of non-compliant documents would no longer be able to travel on common carrier aircraft.
  • Strictly speaking, many of these requirements are not new. They replace similar language in Section 7212 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-458), which had not yet gone into effect before being repealed by the Real ID Act.

Title: To establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver's license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.

Sponsor: Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [WI-5] (introduced 1/26/2005)
Cosponsors = 140

Related Bills: H.RES.71, H.RES.75, H.RES.151, H.R.1268

Latest Major Action:
2/17/2005 Referred to Senate committee.

Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Note: Pursuant to H. Res. 151, the text of H.R. 418, as passed House, was appended as Division B to the end of H.R. 1268. Division B was further modified in conference. H.R. 1268 became P.L. 109-13 on 5/11/2005.


Senior Community Member
Bush wants a National Driver's Lisence (because of terrorism) -- states could still issue their own, but there would be a Federal version ... only the Federal version would be accepted for anything related to anything Federal.

Makes no sense to me, either -- at least one state is fighting it. It confused me, too, so I hoped someone here might shed some light :confused:


Senior Community Member
All they are trying to do is make US IDs more uniform for Federal Identification purposes.
Each state has different requirements on what documents you have to provide to get a driver's license ( and they don't neccessarily prove who you are).
This way every state would have to require the same documents to prove someone identity.
I think it's a great idea. I don't think it would effect John Q Public as much as the licensing facilities that would have to get used to the new required documents.


Senior Community Member
I agree that I imagine it would be more work for the state agencies than general public & I know a few people for whom a National Lisence would be a good thing safety-wise ... I can see it helping to cut down on certain interstate crimes, maybe even kidnapping :confused: It would be good if it would include making NHTSA's safest practice for CPS a national standard law ;) :cool: But, I just have a icky feeling about it somehow. Perhaps it's merely that it seems like a scare tactic & I'm having trouble envisioning how it might actually benefit the general public in reality :confused:


New member
I agree with Lysandra. To give you an example of how things could change, right now in VA if your driver's liscence expires (even by just a couple of days) you must bring in something like your birth certificate to prove who you are. But you can used an expired (up to a year) DL to get a copy of the BC to renew your DL. :rolleyes:

(This happened to Cam last month. When he got his motorcyle endorsement his expiration date on his liscence changed from the end of the month to his birthdate and he didn't know.)

I think having a national ID is a good idea - and it's certainly not new. I think several countries do that already.


New member
I think it makes a lot of sense. We use our driver's license for id for so many things, yet in some states you can get one with just a driver's license from another other forms of id needed. All they are doing is requiring that every state require a minimum amount of documentation before they issue someone a license. They are doing this because terrorists were able, in certain states, to get a driver's license with almost no id, then use that license to obtain other forms of id. They are simply reversing the process....first you must have the other forms of id. When we moved to New York we had to show 6 forms of id!!! We could use the license we had from Texas, social security card, credit cards, and government id's. I'm not saying that every state should be that strict, but if a lot of them were stricter I can see how it could help.

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