"This proposal is one more step away from the Founding Fathers' vision of a limited federal government. Our greatest homeland security is liberty, and the Founding Fathers believed our greatest threat to liberty was a central government grown too powerful. Accordingly, they set up checks on federal power by vesting authority at the individual and state levels.
REAL ID disrupts this delicate balance of power in two ways. First, it turns the Founders' logic on its head by forcing states to act as agents for the federal government in creating a national ID card for federal purposes. Needing a REAL ID to board a plane or enter a federal building would also change the balance of power in something as seemingly insignificant as a visit to a member of Congress."
-- Gov. Mark Sanford, "Real ID Side Effects," Washington Times, April 14, 2008.
"The government claims that driver's license "reform" will help combat illegal immigration and generally protect national security, but it fails to acknowledge that the Real ID Act seriously threatens privacy and civil liberties on a national scale."
--Sophia Cope of Center for Democracy and Technology, "Why Real ID is a Flawed Law," CNET News, January 31, 2008. Online>
"We’re defending privacy rights by becoming the fifth state in the country to say no to the heavy-handed Real ID legislation from the federal government, and I thank each one of you who voiced your opinion in that important debate tied to the larger principle of limiting federal power.”
--Governor Mark Sanford, South Carolina from his January 16, 2008 State of the State speech
"In its own guidance document, the department has proposed branding citizens not possessing a Real ID card in a manner that lets all who see their official state-issued identification know that they're "different," and perhaps potentially dangerous, according to standards established by the federal government. They would become stigmatized, branded, marked, ostracized, segregated. All in the name of protecting the homeland; no wonder this provision appears at the very end of the document.
-- Richard Forno and Bruce Schneier, C-NET News, May 3. 2007. Online >
"We are, after all, for the first time in our history actually creating a national identification card with all the ramifications of that. That is what the Real ID law did."
-- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
"The Real ID Act is not real. It is a bizarre policy fiction with murky goals. Once billions of public treasure is expended and the government has complete control over who you say you are, and the next Mohammed Atta would still be able to obtain a state driver's license, it will be too late to reverse course..."
-- Matthew Dunlap, Maine Secretary of State, "Real ID Act Won't Protect Us," Bangor Daily News, February 16, 2007.
"Identification is a powerful force for willing participants in our economy and society, but it will genearlly have little influence over terrorists. They neither seek the benefits of our society nor are they deterred by knowing they will be hld accountable after they act. Identifying people merely tells you who they are. It does not reveal terror attacks beforehand."
-- Jim Harper, "A Primer on the Real ID Act: Will the US Have a National ID Card?" ALEC Policy Forum, Summer 2006. (PDF)
"...[Real ID] carries the potential unintended consequence of establishing a “gold standard” for fraudulent activity. A fraudulently obtained “national license” could open doors for terrorists in situations that previously might have required supporting or secondary documentation or identification."
-- Sen. John E. Sununu, "Real ID: Unnecessary, Unfunded, and Unlikely to Make You Safer," Manchester Union Leader, May 17, 2006.
"Big brother is bad enough. Do you really want him working for the DMV?"
--Knute Berger, Seattle Weekly, January 18, 2006. Online >
Read more opinion pieces and commentary on Real ID here.
"Real ID Act provisions would be so difficult for states to implement, the bill would undermine an initiative that can make the nation safer from terrorism."
"H.R. 418 would impose technological standards and verification procedures on states, many of which are beyond the current capacity of even the federal government. Moreover, the cost of implementing such standards and verification procedures for the 220 million driver's licenses issued by states represents a massive unfunded federal mandate."
-- Senators John Sununu (R-NH), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), letter to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) (pdf)
Read more of what Government Officials and National Organizations are saying about Real ID here.
-- National Governor's Association, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, National Conference of State Legislatures, and Council of State Governments, March 17, 2005 letter to Senate leaders
Read more letters opposing Real ID here.
"...If the objective is to create a national identification card, that prospect should be widely and publicly debated. If a national ID is the consensus public policy, then the federal government should administer and pay for it. Forcing the states to create one out of a crazy quilt of 50 different licensing systems serves neither national security nor fiscal reality."
-- Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
January 17, 2006; Online > Read more editorials about Real ID here.