What Government Officials and National Organizations are saying about Real ID
"...[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.
"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."
-- 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)
"Standardization of driver's licenses has long been recognized as a bureaucratic back-door to implementation of a national ID card. With its required linking of databases and ability of the Secretary of Homeland Security to require a prescribed format, HR 418 takes us well along that road."
-- American Conservative Union, Gun Owners of America, League of United Latin American Citizens, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, Republican Liberty Caucus, among others, coalition letter to Congress
"What passed is something that will be an enormous amount of work and it's questionable what it's going to yield. Is it going to yield national security or is it going to be hassle for people already complying with the law?"
-- Matt Dunlap, Secretary of State of Maine
"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."
-- National Governor's Association, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, National Conference of State Legislatures, and Council of State Governments, letter to Senate leaders
"Real ID will harm thousands of battered women and children, including US citizens and permanent residents, and will erode critical protections passed by Congress ... Real ID erodes 10 years of progress in the campaign to end domestic violence."
-- National Organization of Women, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and others, coalition letter to the Senate (pdf).
"[The Real ID Act] would undermine our system of checks and balances by stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction to review erroneous rulings in deportation cases, opening the door to drastic consequences in many cases."
-- The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and other organizations, coalition letter to the Senate
"Let's not ask states to make their driver's license a national passport. And for heaven sakes, let's not put people who are right now behind the counter of a DMV, who are not trained to be INS agents or FBI or CIA, suddenly make these folks who don't earn enough money as it is, take on the burden of screening out terrorists."
-- Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)
"The Real ID Act would move America beyond a de facto national ID to new "Big Brother" territory of a de jure national identity document."
-- The American Policy Center, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and others, coalition letter to Senate
"REAL ID would require all individuals to use their principal residential address on their driver's license or state identification card. ... For people fleeing domestic abuse or stalking, the option to use an alternate address is not a matter of convenience or preference; it can be a matter of life or death."
-- Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and others, coalition letter to the Senate.
"REAL ID ignores state-based solutions in favor of federally imposed and unfunded mandates. It also fails to address several baseline questions that states need answered to evaluate and implement the act's requirements."
-- Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) and Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), letter to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
"We have had no hearings, no debate, no votes in the Senate on this so-called REAL ID Act."
-- Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
"Ramming unpopular bills like REAL ID through Congress by attaching them to "must-pass" spending bills is a political strategy for avoiding a hearing and debate that could kill the bill."
-- Bill of Rights Defense Committee
"Realizing government's tendency towards mission creep, no one should be surprised if this database grows to contain far more information than that which is relevant to driving. . . . There is no limit to what other information may eventually be contained in the database -- something which should definitely concern gun owners."
-- Gun Owners of America
"If you didn't have a headache before this, you'd have one now."
-- Nebraska State Sen. Tom Baker (44th District - Trenton)