Airports May Reject Ohio Driver's Licenses as Valid Identification


Travelers, take heed. The next time you try to board an airplane, your state-issued Ohio driver's license may not be accepted as valid identification.

Today, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles publicly announced its decision to back off plans to comply with the Department of Homeland Security's "Real ID" plan due to privacy concerns. Their main issues? Facial recognition software that prevents folks from obtaining multiple licenses, as well as policies to store personal documents.

via the Columbus Dispatch:

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles decided about five months ago to back off the Real ID compliance plan approved by the federal Department of Homeland Security, but it never made a public announcement about the change.

State officials balked at the “one driver-one license” rule and at being required to store and share copies of personal documents, such as birth certificates, said Joe Andrews, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

States generally are complying with the one-license rule by using facial-recognition software to scan photos to determine if an applicant previously was issued a license under another name.

“The objection is that it’s not acceptable in many circles in Ohio to do facial recognition on everyone who comes in to get a license,” Andrews said.

Amid privacy protests, Ohio officials also are considering limiting law-enforcement use of facial-recognition software to scan a database of photos, including driver’s-license images, which quietly went online in June.

The so-called “national ID card” also has sparked concerns over a centralized government registry of copies of identification documents used to obtain licenses. “People have concerns we are trampling their rights if we do this,” Andrews said.

Ohio is one of many states that is uneasy about the federal standards intended to tighten up access to driver's licenses. The standards are a direct result of the 9/11 plane hijackers’ use of fake state IDs. Ohio's refusal to comply could also result in Ohio licenses not being accepted to enter federal buildings.

Read the full report from the Columbus Dispatch here.