State Groups Acknowledge Final Real ID Regulations

WASHINGTON , Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With just 120 days before the implementation deadline, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released final Real ID regulations. According to the National Governors Association (NGA), the...

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With just 120 days before the implementation deadline, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released final Real ID regulations. According to the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), their members now have the ability to thoroughly evaluate the new national mandate and what it means for states and citizens.

"State leaders are dedicated to protecting our citizens and share a strong commitment to ensuring the integrity and security of their driver's license systems," said NGA Executive Director Raymond C. Scheppach. "Finalizing these regulations was a necessary step to allow states to determine whether the act can be implemented in a cost-effective and feasible manner."

Governors, state legislators and motor vehicle administrators are pleased that many of the regulations seem to reflect comments and recommendations submitted by the three groups to DHS, including extending compliance deadlines and giving states flexibility to manage their systems and make them more secure. DHS also recognized that the implementation cost was an issue by making changes to reduce costs to states. Their estimate remains significant at $3.9 billion. To date, however, Congress has appropriated less than 3 percent of the projected costs to assist states.

"Together, we initially estimated Real ID would cost states more than $11 billion. These regulations offer states some flexibility that may tame those costs," said William T. Pound, NCSL executive director. "Still, the fact remains that the administration has not asked Congress to fund state costs, and Congress has only provided states $90 million. State legislators have to balance budgets and make difficult choices among many competing priorities. These regulations are federal standards and deserve federal funds."

The three national organizations plan to continue to review the rule and meet with state stakeholders to determine the impact of the regulations.

"Through an extensive process, our membership used their technical expertise in issuing drivers' licenses to provide DHS with a broad range of concerns and suggestions," said Neil D. Schuster, AAMVA president and CEO. "We are encouraged that the agency took these into account when crafting the final rule. We will conduct an in-depth analysis of the final rule to provide the best possible information and assistance to our members."

NGA Contact: Jodi Omear, 202-624-5301; 703-474-2668

NCSL Contact: Michelle Blackston , 202-624-8667

AAMVA Contact: Jason King , 703-908-8287

Real ID State Activity

Overall Legislative Activity

-- In 2007, 44 states considered approximately 145 bills or resolutions related to REAL ID.

-- 25 states passed 37 bills or resolutions

Anti-REAL ID Legislation

-- Legislative bodies in 21 states have passed legislation in opposition to REAL ID.

States that Prohibit REAL ID Compliance or "opt out" of REAL ID

-- 6 states prohibit compliance with REAL ID by statute. Those states are Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington. All six states passed their laws in 2007.

Other State Legislation Opposed to REAL ID

-- Idaho's 2007 appropriation bill included a line item appropriating $0 for REAL ID implementation in 2008.

-- Legislative bodies in 15 states passed resolutions or memorials that urged Congress to amend or repeal REAL ID or indicated the state's intent to not comply. Those states are Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah.

-- Georgia authorized its governor to delay REAL ID implementation if certain conditions are not met.

Compliance legislation

-- Indiana and Nevada are the only two states that have passed bills intended to bring the state closer to compliance with REAL ID.

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