U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is calling on lawmakers to change the Real ID Act to make it more palatable to states. Eleven states have refused to comply with the law because they say the federal government should be the one paying the $4 billion cost of moving to more secure licenses.
In an effort to get all states to comply with the law by the end of the year, Napolitano has asked the U.S. Senate to draft legislation that calls for the federal government to provide grants to states to help them roll out the new IDs. In addition, the new proposal—known as Pass ID—does not require the creation of new databases that would allow states to store and cross-check information such as information from federal immigration, Social Security, and State Department databases.
The new proposal also eliminates the Real ID Act's requirement that motor vehicle departments verify the authenticity of birth certificates with the agencies that issued them. These requirements are replaced by stronger privacy controls. However, other elements of Real ID—including the requirement to use a digital photo, signature, and machine-readable features such as a bar code on the new licenses, and the requirement to verify driver's license applicants' identities and legal status by checking federal databases—remain in place.
Supporters of Real ID criticized the changes, saying they will result in harm to national security. However, Real ID critics said the new proposal would still result in the creation of a national ID card.
From The Washington Post
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