California asks for Real ID extension, but won't promise to comply


Threat Level reports that the head of California's DMV explained that just because his state filed for two-year extension to comply with the Department of Homeland Security's worse-than-useless yet mandatory Real ID program, that should not been seen as "a commitment to implement Real ID, rather it will allow us to fully evaluate the impact of the final regulations and precede with necessary policy deliberations prior to a final decision on compliance."

Even so, the filing of the application was enough to get Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff to pull out his special green crayon from a locked and booby-trapped desk drawer and use it to color California on his cute little map of states that won't have to suffer the special indignities he's designed for citizens of states that still believe in the idea of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

States have until March 31 to request a two-year extension, and DHS had said before Thursday it won't grant Real ID extensions to states who don't commit to implementing the rules in the future.

Californians that would meant enduring the same fate facing citizens of South Carolina, Maine, Montana and New Hampshire.

They would have needed to dig out their passport, if they had one, every time they boarded a plane, or go through an extra level of TSA screening at airport metal detectors. Los Angeles and San Francisco airports could have had security lines stretching to the Sierras.

Californians without passports would also have been barred from buying certain medicine, entering federal court buildings or getting help at the Social Security Administration, unless they have a passport.