Domestic Fliers Will Need Real ID Compliant Identification in 2023
by John R. F. Kelly, J.P.
In a recent article, I wrote that I believe that the FAA is in the process of instituting real-name I.D. compliance through a federal registry, as well as requiring the use of driver’s licenses. This article focuses on the compliance aspect of such a proposal, and my view about the likely benefits.
First, real-name compliance through a federal registry. The FAA is proposing a federally-administered database for the issuance of driver’s licenses in the United States, called the “National Automated License Information System.” This system would be composed of several databases. The first would be the Driver Information Database containing data on all drivers. The second would be the License Application Database containing the data on license applications, and the third would be the Vehicle License Data Base containing the information on state drivers’ licenses.
A “driver” is anyone who operates a vehicle with a driver’s license. The FAA is currently testing a database called Fetch.FAA.gov which will contain basic license data. However, with the proposed federal database, all licensed drivers would be identified electronically using Fetch.FAA.gov. In addition, the “driver” portion of a driver’s license would be replaced with a “unique digital identifier” such as a Social Security number; this would be stored in the Vehicle License Data Base. The database would be accessed through a secure server to permit secure access by the licensing division and various law enforcement agencies. The database would be used for issuing driver’s licenses and identifying all authorized drivers. The Department of Motor Vehicles would be responsible for issuing licenses by this system. This database would replace both the Driver Information Database and the Vehicle License Data Base.
The FAA is also proposing that the issuance of state driver’s licenses be replaced in the same fashion, using the database described above–the Driver Information Database plus the Vehicle License Data Base. The state’s licensing division would be required to use the system for issuing state driver’s licenses.
The FAA is considering a number of solutions to the problem of the loss of “real-name” information. I believe that this