New Fed ID Law Puts States in Costly Bind

Homeland Security pushes back deadline for revamped licenses
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2008 5:45 PM CST
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff speaks at a news conference on REAL ID at the National Press Club on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008 in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A new federal ID law has 17 states in an uproar over the cost of new driver's licenses and a rushed timetable, the AP reports. Michael Chertoff laid out final details of the REAL ID program today, including an extended timetable with one short deadline: Residents of states that don't request an extension for complying by May will not be able to use a driver's license to get through airport security.

"In the end, the rule is the rule as passed by Congress," the Homeland Security secretary said of the 2005 legislation authorizing the program, which has sparked widespread privacy concerns. Air passengers whose home states aren't in compliance by May will have to show a passport or submit to intensive screening to be allowed to fly.