Is Real ID Really Going to Happen?

Our Washington Independent colleague Matthew Blake reports that the 2004 Real ID Act was set to kick in yesterday, May 11. Yet, the new national standards for state driver’s licenses and official photo identification cards has not gone well for the White House despite the anti-terrorism hoopla under which it was passed.

Little about Real ID has gone as planned. All 50 states, and the District of Columbia, were given extensions by the Dept. of Homeland Security to comply with Real ID. This extension was given despite the fact that 17 states passed resolutions saying they have no intention of ever implementing the program.

State governors and legislatures, members of Congress and civil-liberties groups have slammed Real ID. They say the program is an unfunded mandate and that the federal government should not be in the business of directing how states issue identifications in the first place. They also argue that the linked databases, complete with comprehensive identity information on people from every state, creates a “one-stop shop” for identity theft.

Colorado was among the states that tanked the federal law. Under strong bipartisan support, state lawmakers passed House Joint Resolution 07-1047 [PDF] on the grounds that it violated civil liberties and urged the state’s congressional delegation to repeal the Real ID Act.

Read the rest of the story that has coalesced civil liberties proponents of all political stripes to kill the law which the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls “stinky.”

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Wendy Norris

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