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This isn't good  :smt011

National ID Card Regulations IssuedThe Department of Homeland Security released long-delayed requirements for the standardization of state identification documents Thursday. States must start issuing the new internal passports by May 2008, or else their citizens will not be able to board planes or enter federal courthouses. Civil libertarians say the requirement, known as the REAL ID Act, creates a national identity card that presents significant privacy risks to Americans. Many states oppose the rule as an unfunded mandate and an encroachment on states rights.

The regulations are complex, ranging from the kinds of documents required to get a license, how states databases will interact, the required elements on a compliant I.D. document's face, how states need to store copies of your breeder documents, and how states can attempt to deal with homeless people and other cases, such as judges, police officers and victims of domestic violence and stalking.

While some expected Homeland Security to require the licenses to have smart cards or RFID chips, DHS instead proposes a 2D bar code (magnetic stripe) similiar to those used on many licenses. That information will not be encrypted.

DHS estimates that it will take only 44 minutes for a current driver's license holder to get a certified copy of their birth certificate, travel to the DMV and get a new license when it expires. No current driver's license holder will be allowed to renew a license by mail. They estimate the costs to states and individuals over 10 years will be $23 billion.

Congress may move to negate this ruling by repealing the Act or reverting to an earlier process.

27b would love to hear your analysis of the regs.

UPDATE 1:40 pm: Reader EJ rightly points out in the comments that today's proposed rules allow states to apply for an extension until January 1, 2010. And there are bills in Congress that could make all of these regulations useless.