PA driver’s licenses mess up lives

Miranda Miller, Copy editor

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005.  While it does not look like it is going to be a pain in the tuckus at first glance, for Pennsylvania residents it may require doling out extra money, time and energy.

I, for one, don’t like doling out extra of any of those resources, as I do not really have enough to begin with. Pennsylvania is not compliant with the REAL ID Act, and just like a parent of a 2-year-old, the federal government is pretty tired of giving Pennsylvania more time.

This leaves Pennsylvania residents with identification documents that cannot get them into a bevy of places, including federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants.

I know that we will all sorely miss our daily strolls in the uranium mines, but the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles website points out that boarding an airplane will also require an alternative form of identification that is acceptable, namely, a passport.

Passports are a whole new level of torture, one that I now have to endure if I want to jump on a last minute domestic flight to Vegas to run away from all of my responsibilities.

I have never had a passport in my life, and looking up the requirements makes my head spin.

On top of the cost of getting a passport being mildly nauseating, one has to prove that they are a citizen with a birth certificate that has your full name, your parents’ full names, has been sealed by the issuing authority and has your full genome listed on it.

Then, they have to provide identification, such as the pointless Pennsylvania license, a photocopy of said license and a photo.

This is a huge hassle that I did not anticipate having to go through any time soon, as international travel is a little out of the realm of possibility for me at present.

The cost is well over $100 and the wait could be months long. Spontaneous stateside vacations are out of the question until I get a book with a really bad photograph of myself in it to use in conjunction with a card with a really bad photograph of myself on it.

I guess it all comes down to money, sad as it is, like many things in life. The money spent on a new passport could be spent on more flights home from school to see my family.

It is hard to see that money put on its Sunday best and stroll out of my bank account simply because Pennsylvania law says so.