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Real ID Scorecard Finds DHS Regulations Still Fail the Grade

A systematic analysis of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) final regulations for the Real ID Act reveals that the regulations still address only 11 percent of the problems with the act that have been identified, the American Civil Liberties Union said today. 

The ACLU’s analysis of the DHS regulations is based on a list of 56 problems that have been commonly identified with the Real ID law by a variety of parties, including privacy activists, domestic violence victims, anti-government conservatives, religious leaders and DMV administrators.  Of the 56 problems, the regulations successfully addressed or “passed” 6 (11 percent), scored an incomplete on 12 (21 percent), and failed 38 (68 percent).

View the Scorecard here.

Read the White Paper, "Fuzzy Math and the Real Cost of Real ID" here.

Read the Association of Computing Machinery’s statement on the regulations.


Statement of Barry Steinhardt, Director of Technology and Liberty Program, and Tim Sparapani, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU (January 11, 2008):

In its new REAL ID regulations, the Department of Homeland Security appears to have dumped the problems of the statute on future presidents like a rotting corpse left on the steps of the next administration – and not just the next one, but the administration of whoever is president in 2018. By the time this thing is supposed to go fully into effect, Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush may be fighting for the White House.

That just confirms it:  Real ID needs to be repealed.  It is not only a threat to Americans’ privacy but it is utterly unworkable.  After 3 ½ years of efforts to implement this law, the tortured remains of the statute that appear to survive in these regulations stand as stark evidence of that fact. 

We are still analyzing these regulations and the extent to which they address or evade the many specific problems with the original statute, and will be discussing our findings at 2:00 p.m. EST today. 

But it is time for Congress to recognize the situation and take action.  Rather than saddling the states and the American people with this misfortune of a law until 2018 and beyond, it should be repealed and replaced with a clean, simple, and vigorous new driver’s license security law that does not create a national ID.

Read the ACLU’s fact sheet on the regulations here.

Read the final regulations here.


Proposed Regulations (Issued by Department of Homeland Security March 1, 2007)


Comments of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Read the ACLU’s press release here.
Comments of the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.
"Homeland Security’s Own Privacy Panel Declines to Endorse Licensing Rules," Wired, May 8, 2007.  Online >
Comments of Electronic Privacy Information Center and Experts in Privacy and Technology.

Comments of National Immigration Law Center.

Comments of American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Comments of Maine officials: Gov. John Baldacci, Sec. of State Matt Dunlap, and US Rep. Tom Allen.

Comments of former US Rep. Bob Barr.

Comments of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Comments of AARP.

Comments of National Congress of American Indians.

Comments of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Comments of Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Real ID Scorecard Finds Regulations Get an ‘F’

The Real ID Scorecard, (PDF) a systematic analysis of the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed regulations for implementing Real ID, finds that they solve only 9 percent of problems with the act that have been identified (blank scorecard also available).

Read the ACLU’s press release here.

Real ID Regulations Released

March 1, 2007
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released 160 pages of proposed regulations intended to guide states in implementing Real ID.  Rather than fix the many problems with the Act, the regulations punt on significant questions and make some of Real ID’s difficulties worse.  This page will contain in-depth analysis as it is generated, as well as a completed version of the Real ID scorecard.

The regulations are available here.
Read the ACLU’s press release on the regulations here.
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