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Carnegie Mellon study on drivers licenses and REAL ID Act

Carnegie Mellon study on drivers licenses and REAL ID Act
Carnegie Mellon study on drivers licenses and REAL ID Act

Previous Politech message: 

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Ways to fight the REAL ID Act at the state 
level: some suggestions [priv]
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 19:59:46 -0400
From: Serge Egelman  
To: Declan McCullagh  
References: <> 

We just completed a study at CMU on driver licensing standards and
identification documents.  To comply with the REAL ID Act, no state has to
actually change what is printed on the license (all state licenses have 
a name,
birth date, unique number, signature, machine readable field, etc.). 
The only
thing that changes is the policy with regard to granting the cards 
(under the
REAL ID Act, root document are to be "verified" and stored in a shared
database).  This is where the significant costs come in to play.

Some states are already saving copies of root documents (I just 
transferred my
VA license to a PA one and watched as they made copies of my previous 
passport, and social security card).  So to comply with the law, a state 
already collects copies of these documents (many do) wouldn't 
necessarily need
to reissue licenses to all of its citizens (I honestly don't remember if 
made copies of my documents when I first got a VA license).

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the law either, but for different 
reasons.  Our
study should be in the next issue of I/S ( 
As a side
note, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, as of 2001 (the
last official study), only 70% of Virginia residents were licensed drivers.



Serge Egelman

"Sobriety diminishes, discriminates and says no, while drunkenness expands,
unites and says yes!" -Henry James

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