California May Rebel Against Real ID
California has informed the Department of Homeland Security that although it has applied for an extension on the Real ID deadline it may not be committed to complying with Real ID rules by 2010.
In a letter to Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, DMV director George Valverde wrote," California’s request for an extension is not a commitment to implement Real ID, rather it will allow us to fully evaluate the impact of the final regulations and precede with necessary policy deliberations prior to a final decision on compliance."
Homeland Security spokeswoman Laura Keehner commented on the letter saying, " For right now, there is nothing that says they will no comply with Real ID," Wired reported. "It is different than saying we are not complying with Real ID," Keehner said. "If they were saying that, they would not get an extension."
The Real ID rules will require states to collect verify and store birth and marriage certificates for almost all citizens who have state issued licenses. The rules require that DMVs across the nation to interconnect their systems to prevent duplicate licenses and to meet federal standards for the physical cards themselves. The DHS projects the changes to cost $4 billion to $20 billion, but is only providing $80 million in direct funds.
DHS chief Michael Chertoff said Real ID would make the country more secure. "For about $8 per license, Real ID will give law enforcement and security officials a powerful advantage against falsified documents, and it will bring some peace of mind to citizens wanting to protect their identity from theft by a criminal or illegal alien," Chertoff said.
A number of states including Maine, Montana, South Carolina and New Hampshire are opposed to the mandate saying it violates states rights, will cost them billions and invades on citizen’s privacy rights.
Keehner said there "will be real consequences for states whose leadership chooses not to comply." For example going to the airport with just a driver’s license," will be the same as showing up with no license currently," Keehner said.