Governor Sanford has announced that the state will not file an extension to comply with new federal REAL ID standards aimed at making the United States more secure. This means that, come mid-May, state residents could be subject to additional scrutinity at airline and federal building screening points.
According to the Department of Homeland Securtiy:
If your state does not request a REAL ID extension by March 31, 2008, beginning May 11, 2008, you will not be able to use your state-issued driver's license or identification card for an official purpose, such as accessing a federal facility, boarding a federally-regulated commercial aircraft, or entering a nuclear power plant.
You can still present another form of acceptable identification such as a U.S. passport, military ID, or government identification badge.
If you do not have another form of acceptable documentation, you may experience delays at the airport due to the requirement for additional security screening.
This makes South Carolina and Maine the only states not to recieve a filing extension.
The Post and Courier writes:
Sanford’s decision came on the deadline to ask for more time to comply with the law. The state Legislature last year passed a measure that bars South Carolina from complying. Sanford and other governors have complained the REAL ID measure costs too much.
"At the end of the day, I'm duty-bound to uphold the laws of our state, which right now say we can't comply with REAL ID," Gov. Sanford said in a press release. "That being said, I do fall into the camp that believes REAL ID is poor public policy for any number of reasons, and we have some real questions as to whether the benefits in terms of security outweigh the costs in terms of time and money. We think the state legislature did the right thing last year when it said no to REAL ID, and I'm going to keep working with Homeland Security and with other governors to keep this law from negatively impacting our state."
The objections to the new identification standards have been numerous, ranging from "1984"-like fears to what is likely the largest objection: the cost of implementing the new regulations. Some estimates put South Carolina's cost at $116 million for 10 years.