Letter: Why a Real ID?

Published 9:33 pm Sunday, May 13, 2018

I recently had the pleasure of renewing my driver’s license. It was efficient and easy, almost pleasant.

However, I had some questions about the new North Carolina “Real ID.” The answer received really did not get me where I wanted to get. But the most important thing seemed to be the need to have the transfer to the new ID done by 2020.

Now, that sent me back to the official postcard from the DMV that started all this. The longer I studied the card, the more questions I ended up with.

(1) Why are there suddenly air travel restrictions in a free country?

(2) How can the state of North Carolina regulate such travel? If it can’t, then what paranoid branch of the federal government is mandating the change?

What will this do to business if you have to travel or need to get special health treatment in California? Forbidding entrance on military bases can be tricky, as there are some bases that have public highways going through them. (Of course, if you are sent to federal prison, then it appears you have an automatic out!)

A big question is, what do special travel IDs have to do with driving, flying or visiting military or federal facilities that we pay taxes to operate?

The process of obtaining such a card exposes us to the questions we dealt with when the state tried to require new voter regulations. Some people would not have access or money for the documents they would need to qualify for a card. This sounds like another back-door run at voter disenfranchisement.

If that’s the case, then the perpetrators should be fined and not permitted to participate in elections while they spend time in jail.

— Donald C. Tracy


Editor’s note: Good questions. This is what the state DOT website says:

“The N.C. REAL ID will make it more convenient when you need to board a commercial airplane or visit a military base or other federal facility.

“Beginning in 2020, federal agencies will enforce tougher security standards at airport check-ins, federal buildings, military installations and nuclear sites.

“The N.C. REAL ID is just like your traditional license or ID but has a gold star at the top. Driver licenses and IDs without a gold star are noted ‘Not for Federal Identification.’ ”