DHS's Real ID program has a real challenge on it's hand from California. The response was very near term threats against California citizens. They seem to have backed down but the tactics of intimidation and blame are reprehensible. Is the technically and politically challenged Real ID really dead?
For a short moment Thursday, millions of Californians were in danger of facing pat-downs at the airport and being blocked from federal buildings come May 11.
... DHS had said before Thursday it won't grant Real ID extensions to states who don't commit to implementing the rules in the future. That meant Tuesday's letter looked like enough to join California to the small rebellion against the Real ID rules. For Californians that would mean enduring the same fate facing citizens of South Carolina, Maine, Montana and New Hampshire. [DHS changed it's stance when asked, perhaps to avoid the appearance of mass revolt.] after Threat Level provided Homeland Security spokesman Laura Keehner with the letter, Keehner said California's commitment to thinking about commitment is good enough.
DHS says that it is committed to rejecting the rebel states' driver's licenses as acceptable proof of identification come May 11.
... that citizens need to lay the blame for any inconveniences on their state officials and suggested the residents apply for passports now. ... Keehner reiterated that that there "will be real consequences for states whose leadership chooses not to comply." ... showing up with a driver's license at the airport "will be the same as showing up with no license currently,"
They would have needed to dig out their passport, if they had one, every time they boarded a plane, or go through an extra level of TSA screening at airport metal detectors. Los Angeles and San Francisco airports could have had security lines stretching to the Sierras. Californians would also have been barred from buying certain medicine, entering federal court buildings or getting help at the Social Security Administration, unless they have a passport.
At issue are long-delayed rules that require states to collect, verify and store birth and marriage certificates for nearly all citizens who have state-issued licenses or identification cards. That means almost every driver's license holder will have to get certified documents and go into the DMV to get a new license -- and many will likely have to go in more than once.
Earlier speculation of Real ID mission creep, may be confirmed here. It certainly was not denied and that kind of creep will apply to any national ID, no matter how innocent looking it first is.