Saturday, January 12, 2008

RealID will cause riots

You've undoubtedly heard that DHS finally published the requirements for RealID, pushing off the deadline for implementation. That's good and bad news.

It's good news because some of the truly ridiculous requirements have been relaxed, and the deadline for implementation has been pushed back. There's the expected criticisms of the plan, which I applaud. Real ID is a truly bad idea.

But it's bad news, because it's going to delay the inevitable riots. I spent three hours this morning at the Virginia DMV waiting (ultimately unsuccessfully) with my nephew while he tried to get a driver's license. We arrived at 830am; his paperwork was entered into the computer at 930am; and at 1115am he was still over an hour away from getting a road test (at which point we had to leave due to another commitment - which means we have to start all over another day).

What does that have to do with Real ID? As horrible as the lines are - and think how much productivity is being wasted by the hundreds of people waiting in line - can you imagine what it's going to be like when Real ID becomes required? Instead of most people being able to renew their licenses online or by mail, now everyone is going to have to sit and wait for hours to have their papers checked. Even increasing the workload of DMV by 10% would have a catastrophic effect, just like adding 10% more traffic to an overcrowded highway brings things to a complete halt.

So I'll make a prediction: the first time a senator or representative (or their spouse) or a Fortune 500 CEO (or their spouse) has to sit for three or four hours to wait for a bureaucrat to review their papers, we're suddenly going to have Real Interest in repealing Real ID. And if there's a backdoor "express" approval for the high and mighty, we'll have riots.


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