REAL ID: Moving Beyond the 9/11 Staff Report


The issue of identity—verifying it and authenticating the documents used to prove it — underlay all the 9/11 Commission recommendations on secure IDs and current identity security law. In fact,  perhaps the single most effective measure the United States can accomplish to lay the necessary framework for sustainable national and economic security and public safety is to shore up identity document issuance.

Identity documents must be secure in their content, in their physical features, and in their issuance process. Without identity security at the base of our identity document issuance processes, our nation remains at risk. The reasons remain sound.

This paper sets out the policy backdrop for the legislation that creates minimum standards for state-issuance of identity documents known as REAL ID, the Act’s content, and what is at risk if it fails.

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