Your driver’s license will be getting a makeover when it comes up for renewal. The Maine secretary of state’s office unveiled a new design for it on Monday that will also include a marking meant to signal compliance with a controversial federal law regulating state-issued identification.
The new design will replace the moose-and-mountain design adopted in 2010 by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which is overseen by the secretary of state’s office. That design features an outline of the state of Maine, a white pine cone (state tree), a tassel (state flower) and a black-capped chickadee (state bird), as well as iconic state imagery, including a potato field, lighthouse, sailboat, mountain and sunrise.
“Our staff has worked diligently to create a design that elegantly incorporates a variety of images that speak to the Maine experience, while also improving the security of these important identity…
And page break.
The print version’s headline doesn’t mention Real ID, by the way, so except for the single word “controversial,” you’d never know this wasn’t a puff piece about the state government’s graphic design team. And who’s going to continue to the next page for more of that, if they don’t already know what the controversy’s about?
If you do keep reading, of course, you’ll get to the part about War-on-Terror-related security theater:
Real ID emerged in 2005 among a slew of legislation to address national security concerns after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it was one of the key recommendations in the 9/11 Commission Report.
The Real ID Act set national standards to improve the security of state-issued identification to prevent undocumented immigrants and terrorists from obtaining U.S. driver’s licenses.
“But the 9/11 terrorists all came into America on valid visas, and people with visas can still legally get state driver’s licenses, so what good –” you might start to ask.
The answer, of course, is “Shut up! Why do you hate freedom?”
And that’s why the feds are strong-arming the state government into redesigning its driver’s licenses, in addition to installing “facial recognition software at Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices” and other such nonsense.
P.S. Look at that sample driver’s license:
A lot of sample licenses have smiling faces (subtly suggesting that “we’re happy to be complaint”), but this guy looks like he got a faceful of Joker Gas, and while looking for a JPEG that was large enough to repost, I saw that same picture used in the sample licenses of three other states. Is this a lesser-known Real ID requirement?