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Photos: Electronic IDs are catching on

With the Real ID Act poised to become law, Americans may soon their driver's licenses packing a bigger high-tech punch.

    Electronic IDs are catching on

    The Real ID Act, which could be signed by President Bush in May, would require states to meet federal standards for electronically readable driver's licenses. Currently state laws can vary widely. In this photo from December 2004, a liquor store in Massachusetts scans a customer's license to verify its authenticity.

    Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images

    checking ids

    Electronic IDs are catching on

    National ID cards are common in Europe. This picture from Belgium in February 2005 shows a sample electronic ID card for Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

    Credit: Herwig Vergult/AFP/Getty Images

    Bill Gates' ID card

    Electronic IDs are catching on

    Bill Gates and Peter Vanvelthoven, Belgium's state secretary for computer network development (right), hold a Belgian electronic identity card.

    Credit: Herwig Vergult/AFP/Getty Images

    Gates and Vanvelthoven

    Electronic IDs are catching on

    The US-Visit program, run by the Department of Homeland Security, aims to track foreigners visiting the United States. Kiosks that scan passports and fingerprints, and issue printed receipts, are now being tested.

    Credit: Monika Graf/Getty Images