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Why seeing a star on your driver’s license is a good thing

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Friday, August 23, 2019

I remember in elementary school those little gold, silver, red, green and blue foil star stickers the teacher would put at the top of my paper, each color reflecting my grade: gold for the perfect score of 100; silver for 90s; blue for 80s; and green for 70s. If I saw a red star, just forget it, because that meant redoing the whole assignment, usually DURING recess, or when I got home from school DURING my favorite TV shows — Woody Wood Pecker, Tom & Jerry and Heathcliff. 

Let’s see if you pass the star test or if you’ll be caught at your local Department of Motor Vehicles during your recess, what we adults commonly call our lunch break! Take out your driver’s license. Does it have a black or gold star on it? If so, you passed and your lunch break is safe. If not, looks like a trip to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is in your future if you plan on using your driver’s license to fly. 

Back in 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act, designed to ensure that people boarding a flight or entering a federal building are exactly who they claim to be in all U.S. states and territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands. Now, 14 years later, all states and territories are compliant or have an extension (Maine, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Oregon are extended until Oct. 10, 2019) and are awaiting each and every citizen over the age of 18 to pay a visit to their local DMVs. 

Technically you have until October 1, 2020 to get your star, but as busy security professionals, 13 months will pass faster than a hot knife through butter! (That’s Texan for “quickly.”)  So, here are some strategies and tips to make the process as painless as possible: 

Decide if you even need a Real ID. If you want to fly with only your state-issued ID, don’t have a passport or other TSA-approved ID or need to visit a security federal facility, such as a military base, then yes, you do need a Real ID. 

If you only need your state-issued ID for identification purposes, don’t mind bringing a TSA-approved ID, like a passport, starting October 1, 2020, or are under age 18, then no, you do NOT need a Real ID. 

Physically go to a DMV office. Be sure to bring along identification documents such as a birth certificate and passport. Some states are requiring up to four pieces of identification, so be sure to check your state’s requirements BEFORE standing in that long line, finally arriving at the clerk’s desk after a five hour wait (that’s the typical wait time in Texas) just to be turned away to go back home, retrieve said documents and then wait another five hours in line! (As “they” say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas;” I guess that includes these lines, too!)

  • Tip #1: To be on the safe side, at the very least, bring proof of identity, social security number and residency, proof of name change (if applicable) and of course, money (a fee is involved).
  • Tip #2: I would suggest bringing cash and/or check in case your DMV doesn’t accept credit cards or charges a fee. It looks like North Carolina is the cheapest at $13.00 and Massachusetts is the highest at $85.00. Check your particular state’s DMV website for the fee schedule. 
  • Tip #3: If your state allows it, make an appointment to visit your DMV. This will cut back on wait time and frustration. 

 

I wish you well on your endeavor to obtain your star!

 

 

Disaster recovery within 15 minutes at Delta

Duplicate site and drills ensure business continuity
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05/28/2014

ATLANTA—If Delta Air Lines’ Operations Control Center is incapacitated due to a fire, extreme weather or bomb, it can set up within 15 minutes at a duplicate facility already in place nearby. That’s been proven during yearly drills.

Lawmaker calls for tougher security at airports

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05/07/2014

SAN JOSE, Calif.—A Bay Area congressman on Friday called for tougher security standards and a technology study after an incident two weeks ago in which a teenager managed to scale a fence at Mineta San Jose International Airport and stow himself away in the wheel well of a Hawaii-bound airliner, according to an article from the San Jose Mercury News.

TycoIS secures exit at Maine airport

‘Technology doesn’t get tired or distracted’
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09/18/2013

PORTLAND, Maine—Passengers deplaning at the Portland International Jetport here now must make their way through a special security exit portal, one of only two of its kind in the country.

SIA: Biometric ID cards 'sound policy' for immigration

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06/12/2013

WASHINGTON—With immigration reform gaining momentum in Congress, the Security Industry Association is calling on lawmakers to approve biometrics on identity cards to ensure the highest level of security at U.S. entry points.

MorphoTrust general counsel discusses legal implications of facial recognition technologies

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01/10/2013

LAS VEGAS—Facial recognition technology is a powerful tool, but there are concerns the technology could be misused, according to Scott Boylan, general counsel of MorphoTrust USA, a biometrics provider based in Billerica, Mass.

Accenture receives TSA contract

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11/26/2012

ARLINGTON, Va.—Accenture Federal Services, a consulting and technology services company, received a five-year contract from the U.S.

Good service leads to good contract

Safety Systems of Vermont retrofits Burlington International Airport
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01/31/2011

COLCHESTER, Vt.—Good customer service has not only given Safety Systems of Vermont steady growth since it started eight years ago, but led to a quarter-million-dollar project retrofitting the Burlington International Airport’s fire alarm system, said co-owner Scott Carroll.

An inside look at Logan Airport’s security operations

‘Security is everyone’s responsibility and we all recognize that and step up’
 - 
11/23/2010

BOSTON— On the morning of Nov. 17, two security officers used extended mirrors to sweep under his Massport vehicle, checking for bombs, and they carefully verified our identification credentials before the tilt gate opened and my host, Tom Domenico, director of IT operations at the Massachusetts Port Authority, could drive us onto the airfield at Boston Logan International Airport.