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The Real ID Act is REAL Scary

by Gina M. Scott Saturday, Sep. 23, 2006 at 6:26 AM

There are 245 million drivers in America, and each one must physically re-enroll at a state DMV to verify their identity with the appropriate documents, all by May 2008. "

Heil Hitler the police state will be here in 2008

Real ID Act Will Cost Billion, Logistics Nightmare

Sep 21, 2006 By Gina M. Scott

A comprehensive analysis of the somewhat controversial federal Real ID Act revealed that the Act will cost states billion over the first five years of implementation. At this point Congress has allocated only million for the implementation of the Act. "States feel it is vitally important for Congress and the administration to understand the substantial fiscal and operational cost of altering state systems," said NGA Executive Director Raymond C. Scheppach. This is the second in a series of reports by the National Governors Association (NGA), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

According to the results, implementing the Real ID Act will be not only a tremendous cost, but also a logistics problem. There are 245 million drivers in America, and each one must physically re-enroll at a state DMV to verify their identity with the appropriate documents, all by May 2008. "It is impracticable for states to renew all 245 million drivers' licensees in five years," said NCSL Executive Director William T. Pound. Instead, the recommendation is to implement a 10 year, progressive re-enrollment schedule, which is similar to the British Identity Act 2006. "We think states should be provided the flexibility to delay revivifying certain populations in order to maximize resources," Pound added.

Another issue is the lack of definite statutes from the Department of Homeland Security, which in turn is delaying the implementation of the cards. The report recommends that the Department of Homeland Security recognize the technological innovation of the states, recognize that some states have already moved towards compliance with similar security measures and that the Real ID Act is hindering innovation in some states where they have had to put development on hold, waiting for the final statutes.

In regards to technology, some of the "electronic verification systems which are necessary to electronically verify an individual's identification documents do not exist or are not fully operational at this time," Pound explained.

The basic findings and recommendations of the report are:

extend the compliance deadline

provide the funds necessary for states to comply with Real ID

provide the federal electronic verification systems necessary to comply with the law

require states to employ electronic verification systems only as they become available

implement a 10 year re-enrollment schedule

adopt uniform naming conventions to facilitate electronic verification between files

allow reciprocity for persons already vetted by the federal government

establish card security criteria based on performance?not technology

grant the Secretary of Homeland Security the flexibility to recognize innovation at the state level

Federal ID Act to cost Utah M

Under the new system, the time needed to process a driver license application is expected to double in most states

By Robert Gehrke

The Salt Lake Tribune

WASHINGTON - It will cost Utah at least million over five years to meet new national driver license requirements imposed by Congress last year as part of the Real ID Act, according to projections by the state driver license division.

Nationally, complying with the act is projected to cost states at least billion over the same span and probably more, according to a survey of states by the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). The groups received survey responses from 47 of 51 jurisdictions nationally.

"There's no question that state legislators believe drivers' licenses should be as secure as is possible," said Bill Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The billion question is, 'Who's going to pay for it?' "

Jeff Lungren, spokesman for House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who sponsored the Real ID Act, said the congressman "is refraining from commenting on the wildly inaccurate estimates imagined today." He said Sensenbrenner may comment when the cost estimates are released.

The 9/11 Commission recommended standardized identification requirements after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to prevent potential terrorists from obtaining fraudulent licenses.

Congress passed the Real ID Act in May 2005, requiring states to meet certain minimal security standards. States, for example, have to maintain digital copies of documents used to obtain a license; re-issue new licenses in person within five years; and include various security features on the license itself.

If states don't comply, the license will not be able to be used as a federally approved identification for boarding an airplane or entering a federal building.

Nannette Rolfe, director of the Utah driver license division, said her office estimates that it will cost .5 million to buy equipment and get facilities in place upfront, then .5 million each year the requirements are in place, and those estimates are likely low.

For example, in Utah, all 1.6 million driver license holders and 250,000 identification card users would have to visit their local driver license office and provide the required identification documents, instead of simply renewing their cards through the mail.

"States are already operating at full capacity just to meet existing demand," said Tom Wolfsohn, chief policy officer for AAMVA. The new requirements will dramatically increase the manpower needed to keep up.

Nationally, the time needed to process an application would double in most states and triple in some areas.

Even if the Congress helps states pick up the tab for implementing the program, making all the required changes by May 2008 is impractical, the report said, especially since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) still hasn't finished its regulations on exactly what will be required of the states.

The DHS plans to issue regulations and a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis on the Real ID Act by the end of the year, but it doesn't expect to request any changes in the law, said spokesman Jarrod Agen.

"We feel that the states would be able to comply by 2008," Agen said. It will be up to Congress to appropriate the money, he said.

Rolfe said Utah is redesigning its driver license to comply with the Real ID Act. That new design is due out in November. The Legislature also now requires state ID cards to be renewed every five years, instead of every 10.

"Anything we can do at this point, we are doing. . . . We haven't been able to do a whole lot," Rolfe said.

Congress has set aside million so far to implement the act, but Rolfe said that doesn't look like it will scratch the surface.

"It almost appears that some of it is going to fall back to the state," she said.

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