Real ID Blowback: Massachusetts Residents ID No Longer Good at Some Federal LocationsSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:00
Federal agencies blocking entry, citing compliance
By Jessica Meyers | The Boston Globe
August 26, 2014
WASHINGTON — Susan Podziba couldn’t enter a federal building near Washington this month because her driver’s license revealed an unacceptable home state: Massachusetts.
Bay State residents can no longer use their driver’s licenses to get inside some government agencies because the state is one of nine that have not signed on to a federal law called REAL ID. If nothing changes, they will even lose the ability to display their licenses to board a plane.
The REAL ID measure presses states to verify citizenship and update security standards when they issue licenses. Congress intended the act to prevent terrorists who arrive in the country illegally from boarding planes. But officials in Massachusetts and elsewhere have balked at a program they contend costs millions, raises privacy concerns, and infringes on states’ rights.
States face no direct penalty other than the frustration of their citizens.
Some restrictions — such as the one that kept Podziba, a public policy mediator from Brookline, out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — began in late July.
‘It was like wow, I am a US citizen and suddenly my Massachusetts ID isn’t good enough?’
“It was bizarre, and then I really felt embarrassed,” Podziba said. “It was like wow, I am a US citizen and suddenly my Massachusetts ID isn’t good enough?”
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