Enhanced driver licenses seem like a good option, as long as they would remain that - an option.
State Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, has introduced a bill to allow Ohioans to obtain enhanced driver licenses. Less costly than a passport book, the EDLs can be used for sea and land border crossings between the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bahamas.
Such licenses already are issued in Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington.
An enhanced driver license contains a radio frequency identification chip that provides an identity number or other information that a border patrol officer can read with a remote unit - while the license is in a pocketbook or billfold.
An EDL is similar to a passport card, a lesser-known option available to U.S. citizens. Neither can be used for air travel. A main difference is the passport card does not bear the holder's address.
That's key to people for whom privacy is an issue. Some critics also worry either ID card could be used to identify those who attend, say, a protest rally. Another concern is whether state BMV workers can - or should - confirm citizenship status of applicants - a chore that is a federal job.
Yet an EDL, which would cost an extra $22, might be a more affordable alternative to a passport card, which can cost $30-$55, or a passport book, which costs $135.
Thus, an EDL may be a viable option for some Ohioans. But it should be voluntary.