This is an actual response from Jim Talent, U.S. Senator from Missouri. This is how the corruptions happens.

Dear Mr. _________,

Thank you for contacting me to voice your concerns regarding the REAL ID Act, which was recently signed into law. I appreciate the time you have taken to share your views with me, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

The REAL ID Act contains many long-overdue provisions against identity fraud that were endorsed by the 9-11 Commission, and especially aims to keep would-be terrorists from being able to travel. The Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting state-issued driver's licenses unless they meet minimum security requirements, so licenses from states that fail those standards will not be accepted for commercial airline travel. These requirements are necessary because of the ease with which undocumented aliens can currently obtain fraudulent identification, pose as citizens and thus move around the country undetected.

For example, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an undercover investigation of state driver's license practices and procedures, visiting seven states over a ten month period between 2002 and 2003. In every jurisdiction, GAO investigators were able to obtain a driver's license or state-issued ID using fraudulent documents, including fake birth certificates and fake licenses from other states. These alarming results coupled with findings that many of the 9-11 hijackers and their associates used counterfeit social security numbers and other fraudulent documents to obtain legal driver's licenses or state-issued ID cards which they then used to open bank accounts, rent cars, board airplanes, and attend flight schools prompted the 9-11 Commission to recommend that the federal government set standards for the issuance of birth certificates, driver's licenses, and other sources of identification. The REAL ID Act establishes such minimum standards for proof and verification of identity for driver's licenses, and makes the documents themselves more resistant to counterfeiting and tampering. Furthermore, the REAL ID Act ensures that driver's licenses issued to people who are only temporarily authorized to live in the U.S must expire when the period of authorized stay ends.

The issuance of driver's licenses will continue to be a matter of state jurisdiction-as it should be. The REAL ID Act does not create, as some claim, a national identity card; it is the alternative to such a card. It is the only way we can protect against security threats without requiring everyone to carry some form of national identification. Civil liberties must certainly be guarded jealously, but making it harder to counterfeit driver's licenses is a protection, rather than a restriction, of those liberties.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If I may be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to call or write.

Thank you for your email. To contact me on this or any other subject, please go to:


Senator Jim Talent