WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Some Americans have been unable to renew driver's licenses or get other state-issued IDs because of rules meant to keep terrorists off planes, officials say.
The federal rules have far-reaching implications, as people without driver's licenses or other state IDs can't change jobs, drive legally, collect Social Security or Medicare, get through airport security or open a bank account, USA Today reports.
It's "a persistent problem across the country," said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The rules are part of the Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2006 after terrorists used easily obtained driver's licenses to carry out their Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Under the law, only identifications from states that require applicants to show proof of citizenship or legal residency will be accepted from people before they can board an airplane or enter a federal building.
In most states that have begun to comply, the required proof is a birth certificate or immigration documents. The requirement will be a burden to many Americans, the ACLU and others predicted, USA Today said.
Some birth certificates are incomplete, inaccurate, missing or never were recorded, the newspaper said.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for repeal of the Real ID Act, says 16 states have passed laws opposing compliance with the act while the National Governors Association has labeled it "unworkable."
The Department of Homeland Security has conceded the documentation requirements present a burden and raise privacy concerns and has delayed the state compliance deadline several times.