The October deadline for a so-called Real ID has been delayed and an advocate for privacy rights is celebrating the news.
The delay is due to the coronavirus outbreak because authorities at the federal and state level want to avoid crowding at motor-vehicle department offices.
USA Today reports that without the change, many people would not be allowed to board flights in the U.S. without one of the Real ID cards.
"Real ID-compliant forms of identification don't just include driver's licenses," the story explains. "A passport or a passport card meets the requirement, as do Global Entry cards for U.S. travelers returning from overseas."
Some states already have Real ID. In fact, nearly 100 million Americans now have driver's licenses that comply with Real ID standards.
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses."
The act and implementing regulations establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards, and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane.
Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens' Council For Health Freedom, is a vocal advocate for privacy and therefore is pleased with the Real ID delay.
"We are asking people to opt-out of Real ID," she says.
CCHF recommends people get a standard driver's license, minus the gold start on it, which is a Real ID-compliant card.
“We know that Real ID is a national ID card,” she warns, “and we know that the United States has the right to require that that Real ID card be used for many more purposes other than getting on a plane -- once everybody has the card."
According to Brase, this could include health care services.
"We're asking people to just use your passport to fly, and just get a standard driver's license,” she says, “so that we never get to the point where we have a national ID card in this country."