Sunday, June 11, 2006

The National ID Act

How many think the National ID Act is a good thing? Recently 26.5 Million veterans might have had their ID’s stolen when the VA lost records covering veterans discharged since 1977. This data included social security numbers, date of birth, address, name, type of disability if any and more.

The hijackers of 9/11 had social security numbers and with them they obtained drivers licenses. By using a social security number are we making ourselves more secure or less? The social security card does not have a photo and it does not in any way meet any standard I know of as being a secure ID. Illegal immigrants use other peoples’ social security numbers. Identity theft affected 9.2 million individuals in 2004.

The social security administration requires a birth certificate to obtain a social security number. In fact they say applying for a social security number is voluntary and there is no federal law requiring any individual apply for one.

By using a social security number as the key ID for issuing a National ID are we not opening ourselves up to attack and more? I know that South Carolina up until 2001 sold driver’s information to marketers and included social security numbers. The congressional record reported social security numbers of flag officers in the military when promoted up until a few years ago.

If we want to be secure, the best security comes from a layered approach. In this I mean every government agency should be required to check the background/authenticity of documents given it. Using the social security number as the key ID means that once this number is issued, no other checking is done. Every government agency will assume the Social Security Administration did their job. If the social security administration makes an error, how will it ever be found?. Recently a tragic error is misidentification of two Taylor University students showed how tragic a human error can be. Since humans make mistakes, should we not have more than one human checking in order to increase the probability of catching potential errors? If we required a birth certificate be used instead of a social security number, then each time a person applied for an ID, a new review or fresh eyes would see and verify this information. If there was a problem, then it has a higher probability of being detected at some point in time.

Now with the National ID Act, the state of Indiana no longer will issue driver’s licenses to those without social security numbers nor will they issue photo ID’s. Up until one year ago the State of Indiana would issue driver’s licenses and photo ID’s to those without Social Security Numbers if they signed an affidavit that they had never been issued a SSN.

The IRS up until 1996 routinely assigned TIN’s to those eligible for a SSN, but has written regulations that no longer allows this. According to 26 USC 6109 (c) the IRS secretary is to assign an identifying number to any person yet the IRS will not issue a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to those eligible for a Social Security Number, but whom do not have one. The IRS has now written regulations that require all colleges and Universities to require the TIN of each student. To obtain a passport no longer requires a Social Security Number of the applicant, but treasury regulations require the person paying the fee must be the applicant and must provide their TIN.

In essence the government has now legislated that if you do not have a social security number you may not work, open a bank account, buy or sell property, travel, attend college or vote.

Below is the National ID Act as written.



The National ID Act - 49 USC 30301,
MINIMUM DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUANCE STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL RECOGNITION.


(a) Minimum Standards for Federal Use.--

(1) <<NOTE: Effective date.>> In general.--Beginning 3 years after the date of the enactment of this division, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements of this section.

(2) State certifications.--The Secretary shall determine whether a State is meeting the requirements of this section based on certifications made by the State to the Secretary. Such certifications shall be made at such times and in such manner as the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, may prescribe by regulation.

(b) Minimum Document Requirements.--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall include, at a minimum, the following information and features on each driver's license and identification card issued to a person by the State:


(1) The person's full legal name.

(2) The person's date of birth.

(3) The person's gender.

(4) The person's driver's license or identification card number.

(5) A digital photograph of the person.

(6) The person's address of principle residence.

(7) The person's signature.

(8) Physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.

(9) A common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements.


(c) Minimum Issuance Standards.--


(1) In general.--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall require, at a minimum, presentation and verification of the following information before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person:

(A) A photo identity document, except that a non-photo identity document is acceptable if it includes both the person's full legal name and date of birth.

(B) Documentation showing the person's date of birth.

(C) Proof of the person's social security account number or verification that the person is not eligible for a social security account number.

(D) Documentation showing the person's name and address of principal residence.

(2) Special requirements.--

(A) In general.--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall comply with the minimum standards of this paragraph.

(B) Evidence of lawful status.--A State shall require, before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person, valid documentary evidence that the person--

(i) is a citizen or national of the United States;

(ii) is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent or temporary residence in the United States;

(iii) has conditional permanent resident status in the United States;

(iv) has an approved application for asylum in the United States or has entered into the United States in refugee status;

(v) has a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa status for entry into the United States;

(vi) has a pending application for asylum in the United States;

(vii) has a pending or approved application for temporary protected status in the United States;

(viii) has approved deferred action status; or

(ix) has a pending application for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or conditional permanent resident status in the United States.

(C) Temporary drivers' licenses and identification cards.--

(i) In general.--If a person presents evidence under any of clauses (v) through (ix) of subparagraph (B), the State may only issue a temporary driver's license or temporary identification card to the person.

(ii) Expiration date.--A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall be valid only during the period of time of the applicant's authorized stay in the United States or, if there is no definite end to the period of authorized stay, a period of one year.

(iii) Display of expiration date.--A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall clearly indicate that it is temporary and shall state the date on which it expires.

(iv) Renewal.--A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph may be renewed only upon presentation of valid documentary evidence that the status by which the applicant qualified for the temporary driver's license or temporary identification card has been extended by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(3) Verification of documents.--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall implement the following procedures:

(A) Before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person, the State shall verify, with the issuing agency, the issuance, validity, and completeness of each document required to be presented by the person under paragraph (1) or (2).

(B) The State shall not accept any foreign document, other than an official passport, to satisfy a requirement of paragraph (1) or (2).

(C) <<NOTE: Deadline. Memorandum.>> Not later than September 11, 2005, the State shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of Homeland Security to routinely utilize the automated system known as Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, as provided for by section 404 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 3009-664), to verify the legal presence status of a person, other than a United States citizen, applying for a driver's license or identification card.

(d) Other Requirements.--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall adopt the following practices in the issuance of drivers' licenses and identification cards:

(1) Employ technology to capture digital images of identity source documents so that the images can be retained in electronic storage in a transferable format.

(2) Retain paper copies of source documents for a minimum of 7 years or images of source documents presented for a minimum of 10 years.

(3) Subject each person applying for a driver's license or identification card to mandatory facial image capture.

(4) Establish an effective procedure to confirm or verify a renewing applicant's information.

(5) Confirm with the Social Security Administration a social security account number presented by a person using the full social security account number. In the event that a social security account number is already registered to or associated with another person to which any State has issued a driver's license or identification card, the State shall resolve the discrepancy and take appropriate action.

(6) Refuse to issue a driver's license or identification card to a person holding a driver's license issued by another State without confirmation that the person is terminating or has terminated the driver's license.

(7) Ensure the physical security of locations where drivers' licenses and identification cards are produced and the security of document materials and papers from which drivers' licenses and identification cards are produced.

(8) Subject all persons authorized to manufacture or produce drivers' licenses and identification cards to appropriate security clearance requirements.

(9) Establish fraudulent document recognition training programs for appropriate employees engaged in the issuance of drivers' licenses and identification cards.

(10) Limit the period of validity of all driver's licenses and identification cards that are not temporary to a period that does not exceed 8 years.

(11) In any case in which the State issues a driver's license or identification card that does not satisfy the requirements of this section, ensure that such license or identification card--

(A) clearly states on its face that it may not be accepted by any Federal agency for federal identification or any other official purpose; and

(B) uses a unique design or color indicator to alert Federal agency and other law enforcement personnel that it may not be accepted for any such purpose.

(12) Provide electronic access to all other States to information contained in the motor vehicle database of the State.

(13) Maintain a State motor vehicle database that contains, at a minimum--

(A) all data fields printed on drivers' licenses and identification cards issued by the State; and

(B) motor vehicle drivers' histories, including motor vehicle violations, suspensions, and points on licenses.

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