June 23, 2005

Putting the Brakes on Real ID at the State Level?

No Real Bucks for Real ID
The Real ID Act requiring U.S. citizens to carry federally approved identification cards has created a potentially huge, unfunded mandate that is sending shock waves through state governments. State officials are just beginning to comprehend the enormous changes ahead for their motor vehicle departments, which must issue driver's licenses and store personal data in line with new standards developed by the Homeland Security Department.

"It's going to be a major challenge for any state to create a computer system that can grapple with this [legislation]," said Matthew Dunlap, Maine's secretary of state, who oversees the state's motor vehicles bureau. "A lot of states are taking a deep breath and asking, 'What are we up against?"

At a recent discussion group I attended, an idea arose as to how we might leverage this unfunded mandate issue to put the brakes on the Real ID.

Someone pointed out that Real ID is not a done deal- states must pass legislation to come into compliance. This gave me a lot more optimism. It's something of a second chance as far as derailing Real ID. If we could get just one key state not to comply, it could bring the whole deal down. Are politicians who want to get elected again seriously going to tell Californians or Texans that they can't travel? Are airlines really going to sit back and comply meekly if a state with a major hub gets cut off due to refusal to come into compliance?

We need to monitor state-level legislative efforts, most particularly in key states and be ready to holler loud and clear as these laws start being considered. Key states would include those which are perceived as crucial to winning a primary or election, are integral to the airline system such as those with major hubs, and those states which were most resistant to the Patriot Act. If we can get even one key state to refuse to comply, it may be enough to force Congress to reconsider.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UnstructuredReality here,

Let us hope people will indeed stand up and let their voices be heard on the state level. If history is any guide, we may find one or two states standing up to fight for a while. However, as with the SSN requirement, even the states who file suit and fight in the courts seem to cave in over time. Good points though.

Peace and Good Day

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Target states where major airline hubs are based, particularly those with financial difficulties that cannot afford any additional loss in business (American, United, and Delta). If they oppose state legislation, the Real ID goes away.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A state that should be targeted is Virginia.
Many Federal employees reside in Northern Virginia. If Virginia's driver's license does not meet the Fed. Requirements, then those people would not be able to go to work.

7:56 AM  

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