Identification in the United States has been under discussion for many years. Do we stick with state issued ID, like a driver’s license, or do we go to a national ID? A driver’s license has been accepted at airports for many years, but there is no standard for those ID’s. How does an employee in Nebraska know if a Montana driver’s license is valid? And what about a military ID?

States wish to retain their individual status by retaining their own forms of ID and registration of residents. The federal government would like to have a standard ID that represents greater security for the country, but also retains more information about each of us, which some may feel is not secure.

Having the states retain the obligation of an official ID is easier to control. Having to only prove your name when getting these ID’s makes it easy for most people, and is more affordable.

Having the federal government retain the state’s authority to issue a driver’s license, but assume the authority of issuing a national ID is a goal that would be time consuming and initially expensive. But, a national ID is the only way our country can improve our security and, eventually, reduce the efforts of every system that requires security, like the airport, courthouses, and more.

Thus, we currently have state issued ID’s, state issued driver’s licenses, U.S. issued passports, U.S. issued TSA Pre-Check, U.S. issued Global Entry, and more. Pre-Check is offered by the Transportation Security Administration, while Global Entry is offered by United States Customs and Border Protection, both of which are under the United States Department of Homeland Security. Passports are issued by the Department of State. That’s just too many people doing similar jobs.

We should find the logic of combining many of these functions into a single entity that will eventually lower the costs and dramatically improve security. Yes, the state needs to retain a driver’s license, but this license to drive should no longer be a federal form of ID. By moving to a national ID, we can greatly improve security, reduce costs, and make the efforts of security around the country more focused on treating suspects like suspects and innocent people like innocent people.

Traveling changed because of 9/11. But, all these years later, we’ve really done nothing to fix the system that really lead to it. A proper national ID can combine a Social Security card, TSA pre-check, Global Entry, Passport Card, and so much more. The bureaucracy can be dramatically reduced and the safety of everyday life improved. A national ID and allowing security to scan them, will make travel safer and easier, but also make life better for all of us. It’s time to finally move forward and not let the memory of 9/11 continue to haunt us.