DHS de­ter­mines 13 states meet REAL ID stan­dards


On De­cem­ber 20, 2012, the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS) de­ter­mined that 13 US states have met the stan­dards of the REAL ID Act of 2005 for driver’s li­cences and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards and has granted a tem­po­rary de­fer­ment for all other states and ter­ri­to­ries.

Cur­rently, DHS has de­ter­mined that Colorado, Con­necti­cut, Delaware, Ge­or­gia, Iowa, In­di­ana, Mary­land, Ohio, South Dakota, Ten­nessee, West Vir­ginia, Wis­con­sin, and Wy­oming have met the Act’s re­quire­ments. The de­part­ment com­mends th­ese states on

the sub­stan­tial progress in work­ing to­wards th­ese goals and the im­prove­ments in se­cu­rity for state-is­sued driver’s li­cences and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards since 9/11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

Other states have not pro­vided suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion, at this time, for DHS to de­ter­mine if they meet the Act’s re­quire­ments. Th­ese states will have an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond with ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion be­fore DHS makes a fi­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion. DHS will con­tinue to re­ceive and re­view state sub­mis­sions on a rolling ba­sis.

Be­gin­ning Jan­uary 15, 2013, those states not found to meet the stan­dards will re­ceive a tem­po­rary de­fer­ment that will al­low fed­eral agen­cies to con­tinue to ac­cept their li­cences and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards for board­ing com­mer­cial air­craft and other of­fi­cial pur­poses.

DHS’s goal is to im­ple­ment the REAL ID Act, as re­quired by law, in a mea­sured, fair and re­spon­si­ble way. In the coming weeks and months, DHS will, in con­sul­ta­tion with states and stake­hold­ers, de­velop a sched­ule for the phased en­force­ment of the Act’s statu­tory pro­hi­bi­tions to en­sure that res­i­dents of all states are treated in a fair man­ner. DHS ex­pects to pub­lish a sched­ule by early fall 2013 and be­gin im­ple­men­ta­tion at a suit­able date there­after. Un­til the sched­ule is im­ple­mented, fed­eral agen­cies may con­tinue to ac­cept for of­fi­cial pur­poses driver’s li­cences and iden­tity cards is­sued by all states.

Se­cure driver’s li­cences and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments are a vi­tal com­po­nent of a holis­tic na­tional se­cu­rity strat­egy. Law en­force­ment must be able to rely on government-is­sued iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments and know that the bearer of such a doc­u­ment is who he or she claims to be.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 en­acts the 9/11 Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tion that the Fed­eral Government “set stan­dards for the is­suance of sources of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, such as driver’s li­cences.” The Act es­tab­lishes min­i­mum se­cu­rity stan­dards for li­cence is­suance and pro­duc­tion and pro­hibits fed­eral agen­cies from ac­cept­ing for of­fi­cial pur­poses those doc­u­ments is­sued by a state un­less DHS de­ter­mines that the state meets the min­i­mum stan­dards.

Of­fi­cial pur­poses, as de­fined in statute and reg­u­la­tion, are ac­cess­ing a fed­eral fa­cil­ity, board­ing fed­er­ally-reg­u­lated com­mer­cial air­craft, and en­ter­ing nu­clear power plants. DHS has twice mod­i­fied the statu­tory dead­line in or­der to al­low states more time to meet the statu­tory re­quire­ments of the Act in a pe­riod of de­clin­ing state rev­enues.

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