Homeland Security officials will unveil plans today for new super-secure drivers' licenses but will give reluctant states more time to comply, the AP reports. Every American under 50 will have to switch to the new licenses by 2011 and those older by 2018. The licenses will be linked to a federal database, which critics say is a recipe for privacy abuse and amounts to an unprecedented national ID system.
The original target date of 2008 has been pushed back 3 years to give states a chance to phase in the new requirements, which cuts costs dramatically, the AP notes. The goal is to make it much harder for would-be terrorists and illegal immigrants to get fake licenses. Drivers would have to present them before boarding flights and entering federal sites.