REAL ID Enforcement Could Affect 200,000 Federal Buildings

Aug 20, 2015, 16:02 ET from Keeping IDentities Safe

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beginning October 10, security screeners in roughly 200,000 federal buildings may deny access to visitors who present a driver's license or identification card from a state non-compliant with REAL ID rules. Alternatively, a passport or ID specially approved by the federal government can be used as proof of identity. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released guidance for federal agencies for this phase of REAL ID enforcement. The document is "REAL ID Act of 2005 Implementation: An Interagency Security Committee Guide," and contains a list of approved federal and state issued IDs (http://www.dhs.gov/publication/isc-real-id-guide#).

The 2005 REAL ID Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver's licenses and IDs that do not meet standards set by DHS. One purpose of the REAL ID Act was to better safeguard federal facilities from terrorist attacks. The guide clarifies how identity card clearances are to be uniformly applied to protect federal employees and private citizens who work within and visit these buildings. According the Government Services Administration, there are 275,195 buildings that are owned and leased by the federal government as of 2014.  To date, enforcement of the REAL ID Act has been limited to only 217 of these buildings.  This next phase of enforcement will include "semi-restricted" federal facilities with Federal Security Levels 3, 4, or 5. Federal buildings where no ID checks currently occur, such as museums, benefits offices and government hospitals will not be among those covered by the increased enforcement.

Brian Zimmer, President of Keeping IDentities Safe stated, "States or territories that are not REAL ID compliant or have not received an extension to by DHS to comply will be most impacted. Residents of New Hampshire, Minnesota, Louisiana, and New York, are already being denied access to a few hundred federal facilities. Of these, only in New York does the Governor have the authority to direct the state DMV to comply. The other three states require legislative action to remove anti-REAL ID barriers.  Adding as many 200,000 federal and military buildings with access restrictions will increase incentives for states to comply with REAL ID requirements. This REAL ID enforcement guide demonstrates that positive measures are being taken to protect federal employees and our soldiers on military bases from suicidal shooters and terrorists."

About Keeping IDentities Safe:

Keeping IDentities Safe is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, not for profit, crime prevention education public charity, supported by donor contributions from across the United States. Its slogan, "Working to protect the identity of every American", embodies its 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. Keeping IDentities Safe is a member of the Document Security Alliance and of the American National Standards Institute.

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SOURCE Keeping IDentities Safe