Real ID = Real pain in the ass
The great State of Florida says:
The federal Real ID Act of 2005 sets new standards for the issuance of driver license and identification cards. States are required to comply with the new standards by May 2008, but may request additional time. Beginning in the year 2013, people whose photo IDs do not meet the standards will not be allowed to board planes or enter federal buildings.
The AAMVA has previously said:
The analysis set forth the consequences and costs of implementing the Act and made recommendations to facilitate a more realistic approach.
...extend the compliance deadline since it would be impossible for states to comply with REAL ID by the May 2008 deadline
...provide funds necessary for states to comply with REAL ID since the projected cost of complying with the Act far exceeds the original Congressional Budget Office estimate and will require a more significant investment by Congress
...grant the Secretary of Homeland Security the flexibility to recognize innovation at the state level as several states have updated their systems to meet similar objectives to REAL ID. The Secretary of Homeland Security should have the discretion to recognize state practices and innovations that accomplish the goals of the Act
There's lots more very insightful and moreover blunt honest truth by the AAMVA concerning proposed rule-making and minimum compliance.
What does this mean to you?
Think of it like this:
US Government: Hey, all you 50 states. Yeah, listen up. Completely change your identification issuance to comply with the Real ID act by May 2008.
Response by all 50 states: Screw you, pal. And guess what, I'm not paying for it, either.
US Government: Hey, you have to listen to us. We're Uncle Sam!
Response by all 50 states: No, we don't. You want us to comply? Why not try talking to us first. Unless you can do that, I cordially invite you to go play hide and go screw yourself.
US Government: But the Real ID Act was signed! You have to comply!
Response by all 50 states: You're obviously not listening to me. You don't have to issue driver's licenses. You don't have to administrate them. You aren't accommodating for the fact that we each have different state-specific laws. You have a thumb up your butt. So unless you want this to work, you do it or go blow.
US Government: Um.. I'll get back to you on that.
. . .
There have been reports that implementing Real ID is going to cost way too much, and states aren't willing to foot the bill at all. And neither is the US Government. Evidently we're all going to have to hope the tooth fairy leaves a lot of quarters under pillows to pay for all this.
The result of this is that a lot of corners are going to be cut, cost-wise. And that means the system is going to have security about as good as a wet napkin. Maybe worse.
The system will not work due to the fact that each state in the USA is, in essence, its own little country each with different laws per state - and there is no possible way Real ID can accommodate for the laws in all 50 states.
Don't plan on Real ID being some great innovation, because it's proving to be a complete piece of crap even before its deployment.
The true power of making the proposed system work is going to lie within the states themselves, and until Uncle Sam starts talking to them (and listening), no progress will be made and money will go down the toilet. It seems Uncle Sam thought they could lay the hammer down and figured that all 50 states would comply happily. Uh, no. Doesn't work that way.
No one wants Real ID. You don't want it and your state doesn't want it either most likely. Uncle Sam is writing a check its butt can't cash.
There is a very strong possibility that even after Real ID is deployed, most states will simply ignore it completely. They'll issue the cards, but in turn just keep doing things like they have been for decades with regular driver's licenses.
I don't doubt for a second that many states will issue both driver's licenses and Real ID's at the same time, where the Real ID is just "there for the sake of being there" and the driver's license for everything else you already do now.
Waste of time and money?