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The US federal authorities are accelerating the fight against identity counterfeit. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun a new nationwide public awareness campaign, “Be Your REAL ID Self” to promote awareness of the REAL ID Act requirements. The initiative encourages the public to act before the October 1, 2021 full enforcement deadline goes into effect at all federally-regulated airports, federal facilities, and nuclear power plants.
The DHS continues to urge Americans to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card or acceptable alternative, such as a U.S. passport or passport card prior to the enforcement deadline.
Passed by Congress in 2005 following a 9/11 Commission recommendation, and updated recently, in December 2020, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards.
Security standards include incorporating anti-counterfeiting document security features into licenses and identification cards, preventing insider fraud in the production of those licenses and cards, ensuring the security of production facilities, and requiring presentation and verification of information to ensure a person is who he or she claims to be.
It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting non-compliant licenses and identification cards for accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. These standards have significantly improved the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards across the country, according to hstoday.us.
Last December, Congress passed the bipartisan REAL ID Modernization Act, modernizing the original REAL ID requirements. “This new law marks another important step toward meeting the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations to close dangerous vulnerabilities to terrorist travel and fraud,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf.