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Real ID application documents can be submitted online, DHS says (washingtonpost.com)
14 points by bookofjoe 35 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments



I struggle to find a problem that "real ID" fixes. Sure, it's easier to get on a plane (it's not true that they are actually required, some TSA guy at the airport saying so to me the other day notwithstanding), but that simply pushes back the question: what possible value is there in checking ID before flying?

Like the current electronic voting mess, it was part of a rush to legislate in early 2002 all of which collectively feels like "something must be done; this is something; thus we must do it".

I have never seen an explanation of how my life might be improved by going through all this nonsense, while I have experienced plenty of inconveniences.


You check ID to ensure that the person is the one on the boarding pass. The name on the boarding pass has gone through various scrutiny, including most notably the no-fly list. The no-fly list would be pointless if it were easy to fake an ID.

The no-fly list may itself be pointless, since that particular barn door was closed in a variety of ways (most notably by locking the cockpit door, as well as the security theater of the TSA). And we've had the no-fly list for nearly two decades without Real ID, and without any more successful attacks.

So it's probably the case that it's not necessary. It may not have been unreasonable at the time it was conceived, but it takes a long time to get states to design and issue new IDs, so by the time the requirement finally became mandatory it was overcome-by-events.

Now, it just forms another barrier to getting to vote. No state currently requires a Real ID to vote, but it does make it harder to renew state-issued IDs, and some people may not be prepared with other forms of ID.


The problem Real ID solves is the lack of a national facial recognition database controlled and accessible by the various TLAs. It gives the feds the ability to store the data of any states' residents who plan on traveling domestically. Previously this information was not centralized, Real ID fixed that.


Why is that a problem that needs fixing? Serious question


While documents can be submitted online, you still need to go in person after submitting the documents.

> In a letter sent to states Wednesday, Wolf said that effective immediately, states are permitted to use a secure electronic process to accept applicants’ documents. Even if states implement that pre-submission system, applicants will still be required to make an in-person DMV visit.


It would still be a lot more convenient to know that your documents have been accepted before you have to physically go to the DMV.

I've gotten real id licenses in multiple states as a result of moving, and it's incredibly annoying because you never know what documents they'll actually accept. You basically have to bring tons of extra documents in case they randomly don't like the way one of your documents looks (e.g. one state inexplicably didn't want to accept my birth certificate because it had an official seal on it). Otherwise you could end up having to make another trip (which could be even more of a headache if you're trying to reregister your car and are signing up for new insurance, in which case there may be a deadline).


Meaning that they would have accepted a birth certificate that did not have an official seal on it? Is it just me, or is that insane?


To quote Bartleby, that sage of modernity, ”I would prefer not to.”


Why not? This makes government more efficient, and they’ll be storing the documentation electronically somewhere.

I say this as someone cautiously optimistic about government improving its technology service delivery. We should be cheering efficiency, not nitpicking it.


Because even though it’s stored electronically the best and the brightest aren’t allowed to work on these systems. They have regular downtime.

Ohio crashes their system at least once a year: https://www.cleveland.com/open/2018/08/ohio_bmv_computer_pro...


What efforts have you made to be involved with the development or improvement of such systems?


How on earth does this make government in any way more efficient?

I ask this as someone appreciative of government in general.


I don't want government surveillance of its citizenry to become more efficient.


Identity management is a critical component of government. The days of living off the grid no longer exist.

Would you argue against a passport or drivers license?


you can make a perfectly reasonable case that a drivers license is a stupid choice for a de facto state ID instead of being merely permission to operate a motor vehicle.


Indeed. A national ID card with a driving endorsement would be far superior, and is the direction we’re headed. Your driver’s license is already a national ID technically with REAL ID requirements, and if you’re a truck driver with a hazmat endorsement, you’re going through DHS anyway.

Sidenote: Love the username reference.


Does this only affect air travel? Will it eventually affect trains? I've always wanted to travel cross country on a train.





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