Susan Podziba couldn’t enter a federal building near Washington this month because her driver’s license revealed an unacceptable home state: Massachusetts.
Bay State residents can no longer use their driver’s licenses to get inside some government agencies because the state is one of nine that have not signed on to a federal law called REAL ID. If nothing changes, they will even lose the ability to display their licenses to board a plane.
States face no direct penalty other than the frustration of their citizens.
Some restrictions — such as the one that kept Podziba, a public policy mediator from Brookline, out of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — began in late July.
“It was bizarre, and then I really felt embarrassed,” Podziba said. “It was like wow, I am a US citizen and suddenly my Massachusetts ID isn’t good enough?”
She ended up conducting the high-level meeting in a cafeteria outside the security gate.