Don't Fly in May

More on the upcoming Real ID fiasco. I don't look forward to standing in line at a DMV office, especially since my license is still registered in Texas.

Come May 11 this year, Georgia and Maine residents without passports may not be allowed into federal buildings and the lines at Hartsfield-Atlanta airport could stretch to Alabama, according to federal rules designed to morph state driver's licenses in a national identification card that were released Friday.

If by May, Georgia hasn't changed it mind and the feds don't blink, the nation's busiest airport -- Hartsfield-Atlanta airport -- will have security lines that last for hours. If a federal court house did not let a state resident get to his court date or prohibited someone from getting into a Social Security office, lawsuits and a storm of unflattering news stories will surely follow.

The ACLU's Barry Steinhardt says that's not going to happen.

"There is not going to be any real penalty. This is a bluff," Steinhardt said. "Are they really prepared to shut those airports down? We don't believe that is going to happen."

Instead the real takeaway from today's regulations is that DHS is pushing the implementation of all of this onto the next administration, according to Steinhardt, who noted the rules were supposed to be in effect in 2007 and now have been pushed to 2010, 2014 and 2017.

Tim Sparapani, the ACLU's legislative counsel, warned cash-strapped states to steer clear.

"DHS is trying to spin states in deep budget crises to participate in this," Sparapani said. "Our message to these states is don't spend a dime on implementing these regulations."

[From New Real I.D. Rules To Shut Down Nation's Airports in May?]

More reason to drive everywhere, or take the train.

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on January 12, 2008 4:59 PM.

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