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The REAL ID Act[note 1] was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by Bush in 2005. REAL ID stands for Radical Exophobic American Licensing and Ignorance Department for those that hate unnecessary all-caps.[citation NOT needed]

REAL ID violates No True Scotsman sets minimum standards for both the documents state governments must be provided before issuing a driver's license or other official identification card, and for what features[note 2] must be on the ID card itself. REAL ID essentially makes state IDs into a de facto national identification card. REAL ID also includes provisions that ban anyone from boarding an aircraft without a REAL ID compliant card, and requires states to link their state motor vehicle databases with those of the other 49 states plus all of Canada and Mexico.

To date, several states have passed legislation either denouncing REAL ID or declaring their noncompliance. All 50 states have either explicitly asked for extensions or been summarily granted them by the federal government for meeting the original May 11, 2008 deadline for compliance with REAL ID. This means the deadline for REAL ID compliance has been postponed to 2009 2011 2020 2023 May 7, 2025.[note 3] As of May 2023, all but American Samoa[note 4] are compliant in offering REAL ID licenses.

Predictably, the official excuses for passing REAL ID had something to do with homeland security, illegal immigration, voter fraud, and perhaps kids buying beer with fake IDs, and most importantly That Big Terrorism Threat Lurking Out There. Your papers, please?Wikipedia

National ID Cards[edit]

Real ID has been criticized as being another attempt to turn America into a Euro-socialist hellscape a national ID card, which has critics across the political spectrum.

Both sides see it as a big brother problem and a data securityWikipedia issue, due to the types and amount of information being stored and requirements to share it among other states, Canada, and Mexico. This, of course, overlooks that the current de facto national ID card/number is orders of magnitude worse security-wise.

The Right also find fault with it being expensive, expanding government, additional government regulations, impairing their right to travel as a freeman on the land, and sounding European.

Overlooked Aspects[edit]

The Real ID Act contains rules having nothing to do with identification cards.

  • Grants waivers for any law slowing down border wall construction, and limiting judicial review of them.
  • Defining 'terrorist activities', 'terrorist organization', and 'engaging in terrorist activity' for other laws.
  • Introducing rules for "delivery bonds", bail bonds for aliens released pending hearings.

See also[edit]


  1. Full long title; An Act 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.
  2. *Full legal name
    • Signature (for some reason)
    • Date of birth
    • Gender
    • Unique identity number
    • Residence address
    • Photograph of the applicant
  3. 2025 is a hard date where Real ID compliant ID must be used for domestic air travel. It will also be required to access federal facilities with security checks, like nuclear power stations and military bases.
  4. American Samoa has an extension, per the DHS's website.