DHS to States: The REAL ID Deadline Is Next January, Period.

Mar 21, 2012, 17:56 ET from Coalition for a Secure Driver's License

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- David Heyman, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Assistant Secretary for Policy, today confirmed that DHS "has no plans to extend" the REAL ID deadline for state compliance, set as January 15, 2013. 

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Coalition for a Secure Driver's License (CSDL) President, Brian Zimmer, said, "The Department of Homeland Security today sent a clear message to the seven states that have done little or nothing to meet the rules.  It's their last opportunity to get on board with the REAL ID rules or face consequences."

"States that are meeting REAL ID rules know that it will be business as usual for their citizens with regard to boarding planes and access to federal facilities next January," said Zimmer. "The governors in states with driver's license processes falling below the mark should take heed.  It would be a good idea for those governors to alert their residents that the driver's licenses in their pockets won't be acceptable IDs beginning next year.  This will provide time for residents of states like Montana and Oklahoma to apply for U.S. Passports so they won't be inconvenienced."

Assistant Secretary Heyman, speaking before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security today, testified that a guidance document will be provided to the states within a couple of weeks.

Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner said he was "pleased to hear today that overdue DHS guidance to the states is forthcoming and that there are no further plans for delaying implementation."

Brian Zimmer applauded Congressman Sensenbrenner as the champion of REAL ID and said, "I am encouraged that the Department of Homeland Security will be offering REAL ID regulatory guidance to the states in the next few weeks.  However, I believe DHS needs to get serious about REAL ID.  It is time DHS assign personnel and resources to get the job done. REAL ID is no longer a policy matter, the REAL ID debate is over.  REAL ID is now part of DHS' ongoing operations."

CSDL submitted testimony for the record with three recommendations:  DHS needs to (1) establish a permanent office to work with the states and other agencies because REAL ID is a permanent program; (2) send clear direction to the Federal Protective Service and the Transportation Security Administration so those agencies have time to establish how the deadline will be enforced; and (3) provide direction to the Transportation Security Administration to deploy a greater number of electronic document scanners at airports to accelerate inspection of REAL ID compliant IDs and to expose imposters."

For the CSDL's recommendations, go to http://secure-license.org/category/category/csdl-testimony

About the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License:

The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License is a 501 (c) (3) non-partisan, not for profit, crime prevention education public charity, supported by donor contributions from across the United States. 

The CSDL slogan, "Working to protect the identity of every American," embodies our commitment to higher standards for both government and private entities that issue identity credentials, especially state agencies that issue driver's licenses and ID cards.  CSDL undertakes research projects addressing best practices for DMVs, compliance with federal laws and regulations, identity fraud prevention and related identity management topics.  CSDL provides research results and educational programs to the public and to state and federal officials.  CSDL is a member of the Document Security Alliance and the American National Standards Institute.

Details are available on CSDL's website at www.secure-license.org.

SOURCE Coalition for a Secure Driver's License