Coalition for a Secure Driver's License (CSDL), Drug Free America Foundation, and the Association of Community Employment Progra

New Regulations Will Set Federal Security Standards for State Issuance of Driver's Licenses and Identity Cards

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final regulations for the REAL ID Act of 2005. The Coalition for a Secure Driver's License (CSDL) joins with the Drug Free America Foundation and the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (A.C.E.) in endorsing the final regulations.

The regulations set standards for states to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act and include security features, verification information of applicants to establish identity and lawful presence, and physical security standards for state locations where licenses and identity cards are issued.

According to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff in a statement before the House Committee on Homeland Security on September 5, 2007 , "delay in implementing REAL ID could be detrimental to our national security. In the National Intelligence Estimate ... it clearly states that Al Qaeda will 'intensify' its efforts to put operatives inside our country. Clearly, time waits for no one and neither do our enemies."

After reviewing the final regulations, Brian Zimmer , President of the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License (CSDL), issued the following statement: "The 9/11 terrorists held over thirty valid drivers' licenses and ID cards issued by five different states. Only a handful of states have implemented meaningful reforms in the six year interim, so national minimum standards are critical. Until REAL ID standards are adopted by the states, Americans are vulnerable to foreign terrorists hiding behind the facade of a state issued driver's license. CSDL strongly supports the new DHS regulations and urges states to comply."

Calvina Fay, Executive Director of the Drug Free America Foundation, noted: "Minimum federal security standards for the states' public ID systems have many critical benefits - not the least of which is helping to abate a serious drug epidemic. The link between fraudulently obtained ID cards used by drug dealers and the proliferation of methamphetamine production makes a compelling additional argument for REAL ID regulations. States that raise the identity authentication requirements for driver's licenses and ID cards will help themselves by putting teeth in the Meth Act and stopping meth abuse."

Henry Buhl , Founder of A.C.E., stated: "REAL ID standards have a critical impact on many of the ailments that plague the homeless, as many homeless are victimized by identity thieves who fraudulently obtain drivers' licenses using the names and social security numbers of the homeless who are often unaware their identities have been stolen. These identity thieves then fraudulently purchase guns, hide from law enforcement, and even steal public benefits from the homeless, further compounding their plight. REAL ID will force the states to clean up their act and cease wholesale ID card issuance."

CSDL is a non-partisan, not for profit, grassroots organization educating the public and elected officials about the critical need for secure drivers' licenses. Drug Free America Foundation is a national not for profit organization dedicated to fighting drug use, drug addiction and drug trafficking and to promoting effective, sound drug policies, education and prevention. A.C.E. is a community based organization that assists New York City's homeless men and women in re-entering the workforce and achieving long term, economic self-sufficiency.

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SOURCE Coalition for a Secure Driver?s License; Drug Free America Foundation; Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless