With all the talk about who can and can’t get a driver’s license under the Real ID act which President Bush will sign soon, why is it we don’t have a national driver’s license yet? I’m a privacy advocate, and there are certainly concerns about the information that will be required and gathered under Real ID, but I don’t understand the concerns of those who oppose the idea of a national driver’s license.

Your state-issued license is already valid in every other state, and you use it as identification when you board a plane, cash a check, pick up tickets at the box office, and on and on. The laws aren’t all that different from one state to another, so why not have a national standard and a USA driver’s license? Most other countries already do it that way. It could still be handled by the license bureaus in each state, who could still collect the fees, with the only change being the look and conformity of the license.

I mentioned this on my show today and got several e-mails, including this one from Richard, retired police officer: “Another point with regard to national security. As a St. Louis cop, I’m familiar with the Missouri license and perhaps with an Illinois license, and I can usually spot a fake — but I have no friggin’ idea of the current 2005 format of a North Dakota license, or a Vermont license, etc. If someone shows me something that looks reasonably official, I’m gonna accept it. Keep in mind that, lately, all states seem to change their format every few years.”