What the Media is Saying About Real ID:
Editorials from around the Nation
"We weren't surprised Friday by reports that the federal government has further delayed implementation of the REAL ID act, which U.S. Sen. Jon Tester calls a "textbook Washington boondoggle." We can't think of a better way to describe this unfunded mandate that infringes on citizen privacy and state sovereignty, with little guarantee of success."
--"Real ID is a Bad Deal That's Not Done Yet," Great Falls Tribune Editorial. January 15, 2008.
"Gov. Eliot Spitzer has confronted the most intense public criticism of his political career — and caved... Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and he hastily announced a new plan, a revised three-tiered licensing system for New York’s drivers. Not all the details are available, but it looks like bad government policy and a bureaucratic nightmare in the making."
--"Governor Spitzer Retreats," New York Times Editorial, October 30, 2007. Online>
"Americans don't like having to prove who they are."
-- "Against a National ID," LA Times Editorial, October 7, 2007. Online >
"When the nation's governors gather in Traverse City this weekend, they ought to do themselves and their states a service by serving a definitive notice on Washington that the Real ID Act is not just unworkable but unacceptable and ought to be repealed before it takes effect next year."
-- "Governors Should Fight Real ID Plan," Detroit Free Press Editorial, July 20, 2007.
"You gotta admire a governor who doesn't mince words about whether his state will comply with a knuckle-headed mandate from Washington as costly as it is offensive."
--"Heck No," Baltimore Sun Editorial, May 19, 2007.
"The data will be entrusted, remember, to the same government that has misplaced millions of records of military veterans and airport security employees."
--"Your Next License Might Say Too Much About You," Detroit Free Press Editorial, May 27, 2007.
"This is just another unfunded federal mandate that will make the average Wisconsinite's experience at the Division of Motor Vehicles more frustrating.."
--"Repeal Real ID," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial, May 11, 2007.
"Despite growing opposition, the Homeland Security Department is charging ahead with plans to impose national standards for driver's licenses as a security measure. The administration should make concessions about privacy concerns and the burden of state and county costs before implementing the Real ID, which some call a national identification card."
--"Make Needed Changes in Standards for IDs," Honolulu Star Bulletin Editorial, May 11, 2007. Online >
"State agencies put the total cost of standardizing drivers' licenses at upwards of $11 billion; Congress has so far appropriated all of $40 million. Again, this is from a Republican Congress that made its first legislation upon taking power in 1995 a bill against imposing "unfunded mandates." It included a pledge not to impose any burden on the states that wasn't fully financed from Washington. Now comes Real ID, transforming state departments of motor vehicles back into everyone's worst nightmare. Some accomplishment."
--"Real Bad ID," The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2006. PDF >
"The scandal is that Real ID was enacted. Cooler heads in Congress should correct that as soon as possible."
-- "Deep-six Real ID," Baltimore Sun, September 27, 2006;
"Uncle Sam found a way to get a national ID card; he just made the states do his work."
-- (Indiana) Chronicle-Tribune, August 26, 2005; Online > (Purchase required)
"If the Real ID Act were such a great idea, why did Congress attach it to a military spending bill and pass it without public hearings?...[It's] a hacker's dream come true."
-- (New Hampshire) Union-Leader, September 20, 2005; Online > (Archived article available for purchase).
"In theory, this is supposed to make the nation more secure from terrorists by preventing them from getting driver's licenses. In reality, the program's already creating headaches and confusion....As we asked in May when this program was attached to a military funding bill, in the end is it really going to make Americans safer? Will it prevent terrorism in this country? Or is it just another maze of red tape and bureaucracy?"
-- (Arkansas) Baxter Bulletin, January 17, 2006; Online > (Archived article available for purchase).
"Just the cost of collecting the information, much less gearing up to do it by 2008, has governors worried. Congress appropriated $100 million, but the governors of Pennsylvania and Virginia say it'll cost that much for each of their states. (Can you spell m-o-s-t-l-y u-n-f-u-n-d-e-d m-a-n-d-a-t-e?)"
-- (Georgia) Macon Telegraph, July 20, 2005.
"As the P-I has argued all along, 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 >
"The implications here could be huge. The Real ID Act could end up costing states billions of dollars in new costs. Congress must either go back to the drawing board on this issue or provide states the funding needed to implement this increasingly bloated plan."
-- (Bridgeport) Connecticut Post, January 17, 2006.