The REAL ID Act of 2005 is a nationwide effort intended to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud and improve the reliability and accuracy of identification documents issued by U.S. state governments. The act has many varying provisions, but the one generating the most interest and controversy concerns the establishment and implementation of national standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards. On January 11, 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule establishing the minimum-security standards for state-issued identification cards. The new standards purportedly enhance the card’s integrity and reliability, strengthen issuance capabilities, increase security at card-production facilities and reduce state implementation costs.

Link to text of law: REAL ID Act of 2005