Puzzle for November 27, 2006

Currently, the United States has no national identification card. The closest things to it are passports, which many people do not have, and identification issued by the state Departments of Motor Vehicles (or their equivalents), again which some people do not have. Recently, there has been discussion about creating such a card, either in law—by having the federal government issue them—or in fact—by requiring all state driver licenses and non-driver identification conform to a federal guideline—and requiring everyone to have one.

Without going into the politics of whether a national identification card is good, bad, appropriate, or inappropriate, what are some of the technical challenges that must be overcome in issuing national identification cards?

You can also obtain a PDF version of this. Version of November 26, 2006 at 10:20 AM