Our Views: Avoid lines at airports

If ever there was a case of Louisiana lawmakers being stuck on stupid, it is in the bizarre opposition to a new driver’s license that will meet federal standards.

Why stupid? Because Louisiana has refused to adopt a standard license, current licenses will eventually not be accepted for airline travel. That is an unacceptable economic cost, and the Legislature has failed since 2008 to authorize compliance with the new federal standards.

Conspiracy theories abound in an era of questioning of government surveillance, but the reality is that most of what the state driver’s bureau has to do is basically cosmetic — a gold star to show the license meets the national standard, and some equipment upgrades to scan documents and photographs as required by the so-called “RealID.”

It’s a measure of just how many legislators are driven by a few complaints that House Bill 907 is voluntary, in that people can opt out of the RealID license.

Given how small are the differences between the two documents, we wonder why that is allowed. How many times will people be stalled in airport lines because Ma and Pa Kettle up ahead didn’t get a RealID license?

We urge the Legislature to wake up to the realities of modern travel and pass the legislation.