Jan 31 2008
SC chose not to partisipate in the Federal Real ID. This resolution was sponsord by Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens). REAL ID is a nationwide effort to improve the integrity and security of State-issued drivers licenses and identification cards, which in turn will help fight terrorism and reduce fraud. REAL ID refers to minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses or personal identification cards that will allow you to board a federally regulated airplane, access a federal facility or nuclear power plant. These standards are part of the requirements of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which Congress passed to make it more difficult to fraudulently acquire a drivers license or ID card, as part of the effort to fight terrorism and reduce fraud. The 9/11 Commission endorsed the REAL ID requirements, noting that for terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons … All but one of the 9/11 hijackers acquired some form of identification document, some by fraud. Acquisition of these forms of identification would have assisted them in boarding commercial flights, renting cars, and other necessary activities.
REAL ID is not a national identification card yet standards that must be in place if state issued identification will be an accepted by entities of federal jurisdictions. South Carolina chose to not participate in the REAL ID standards for several reasons. One of those reasons is that REAL ID provided no funding, so the state would have to decide whether to fund the extra expenses from the taxpayer or increase the costs of the application for a drivers license.
Since a regular SC drivers license is not an acceptable form of identification we may suffer delays due to the requirement for enhanced security screening. The time table has been extended by the Federal Government, but those of us that desire to fly commercially, we may be required to keep an updated passport. Although this may be an inconvenience, this required is better than forcing the same inconvenience on all South Carolinians that wish a drivers license.