The Dictator Clause in REAL ID


Kaye Beach

Nov. 9, 2015

Another very short post covering one aspect of  REAL ID – The Dictator Clause.

A mandatory biometric ID such as the one created by the REAL ID Act of 2005, is an indispensable tool for government monitoring and control.
Currently a REAL ID is required for only very few things but that will change.

The REAL ID final rules require a REAL ID complaint driver’s license or ID card for certain specified “official purposes” (defined in Sec 201 of the Act.)
• Entering (certain) Federal facilities
• boarding a Federally-regulated commercial aircraft
• Entering a nuclear power plant


• Any other purpose established by the Secretary of Homeland Security
(Real ID Final Rules
The law is written to allow the Secretary of Homeland Security, an unelected federal bureaucrat, to add to the list of ‘official purposes’ which require a REAL ID at his or her discretion. That is why this portion of the REAL ID law is referred to as the Dictator Clause.

Not only are there no statutory limitations on official purposes but the rules is written to expressly invite additional purposes for which you must produce your federal REAL ID.

Obtaining healthcare, internet access, or purchasing guns and ammo could all be added at the whim of the Secretary of Homeland Security to the list of official purposes.

Compliance with the REAL ID Act, which is being considered by Oklahoma, would mean acquiescing to the Dictator Clause in REAL ID.

Downloadable one page explainer

Dictator Clause 11 9 15 FINAL

One response to “The Dictator Clause in REAL ID

  1. Pingback: The Dictator Clause in REAL ID

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