Cue “The Twilight Zone” theme.
What happens if the federal government changes its mind about what documentation you need to provide to get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identity card, but they change their mind AFTER you’ve already been issued a license or card that was given to you by your state as REAL-ID compliant? And what happens if your state decides that you only have until June, 2019 to comply with the revised requirements, even though the federal law gives you until October, 2020 to comply?
If you guessed that you will still be a licensed driver but your state can recall your license or actually confiscate it in a traffic stop next month and make you get a new one, you guessed right. And more than 66,000 drivers in Maryland may be in that confusing situation now.
Colin Campbell explains it all on the Baltimore Sun. Have coffee or your favorite beverage handy as you try to follow the saga.
If you don’t remember what the REAL ID is all about, the law was passed in the wake of 9/11 as a measure that would presumably keep us all safer and make it harder for terrorists to board planes with fake licenses, etc. So far, I’m not aware that any lives have been saved by it or terrorist acts averted, but I’m sure the government will come up with some “facts” to justify the cost and hassles. You can read an update on the law and states’ responses here.