Real ID's 800lb Gorilla - How to kill it!Submitted by brccrb on Sun, 01/13/2008 - 00:48
Real ID's 800lb Gorilla: DEATH CERTIFICATES.
Real ID works by validating, back to the issuer, any documents you provide. So, if you take in your birth certificate and a social security card to prove your identity, the information is sent to the state that issued the birth certificate and the SSA (Social Security Administration) for validation ... this is the heart of Real ID ... leave out the insane use of biometrics capture for a moment.
Sounds like a way of stopping terrorists, right? WRONG! It doesn't work because of DEATH CERTIFICATES!
Anyone who wants to fake an identity starts by getting hold of a birth certificate, usually from someone dead. Then, the other parts of their identity are recreated.
Without the death certificate, you don't have anyway of validating that the birth certificate is still valid. THIS IS KEY!
People move around, use nicknames, get married, etc.. So, you are born in one place, die in another. There is no way to link the birth certificate to the death certificate. You don't have a SSN at birth and they don't record the SSN or where you were born on the death certificate. THERE IS NO LINK ANYWHERE. The majority of the states don't even key (put into a database) the information ... it still just handwritten scribbles on scattered paper.
If that wasn't bad enough, most of the states birth certificate data is in shambles as well.
To comply with Real ID, the state will need to go back, dig out all death certificates, key the data into a database (most are barely legible). This would take years and can only be done by hand! It would cost each state millions! And in the end, the best that can be done is trying to match John Smith to some other John Smith ... imagine across all counties in all 50 states. It doesn't work!
This is the 800lb gorilla. If you can't prove a document is valid, what value is Real ID?
Call your state representatives (not at the Federal level) and point out that without matching death records, Real ID isn't of any use. Then point out how much it will cost for them to address the death certificates ... millions per state ... and who pays for that?