more papers = more government offices, more possibility for fraud, more restriction of civil liberties (a chip? a freaking chip?). Way to go – towards Soviet system of propiska, just with superior technical means.
I went through a similar tear-the-house-apart process, after a colleague (incorrectly, as it turned out) told me I would need one to renew my Oklahoma driver’s license (turns out you only need it if you’re fool enough to let your license expire).
However, I did find mine and I know where it is. Not that I relish the thought of being asked to show it or any other “papers” as I go about my ordinary daily business.
I do think I had to provide my card upon the beginning of my current employment (some 10 years ago), but my understanding was that was for tax purposes, and not to prove that I was here legally.