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Fact Sheet on Real ID Compliance Bills

In a few states legislation has been introduced that tries to move the states closer to overall compliance with the Act.  The fact that each of these bills is distinct in its aims indicates a lack of clarity about what Real ID will actually require. 

Despite differences in the individual bills, however, there are several reasons why all these bills are a bad idea:

  • Real ID isn't a sure thing.  As states begin to realize the huge price tag and administrative burden associated with Real ID, more and more are calling for Congress to revisit the Act.  With such criticism mounting, it is far from certain the Real ID will take effect in its current form.  States that attempt to comply now risk wasting vast sums of money on a misguided law that isn't set in stone.
  • They are premature. The Department of Homeland Security has yet to issue final regulations describing precisely what states must do to comply with the Real ID Act.  The draft regulations that have been published are deeply problematic.  Until final rules are in place, it is impossible to know exactly what steps must be taken to comply fully with the Act, and even after carrying out this kind of legislation, motor vehicle departments would not necessarily come into proper compliance.
  • It is unwise to buy a "pig in a poke."  As the old saying goes, it is foolish to pay for something when you don't know what you're getting.  Similarly, it is not smart to invest a large amount of state money in a Real ID bill without knowing how far this money will go toward actual compliance, and how much full compliance will ultimately cost.
  • They are incomplete.  All the current bills that attempt to comply with Real ID leave out many required provisions of the Act.  For example, many of the systems for document verification are either in their infancy or do not yet exist. Until the final regulations are released, it is impossible for states to draft complete legislation for Real ID implementation.

Take Action!

Tell your local representative to oppose bills that force compliance with Real ID until your state has fully assessed the real costs, real problems, and real impact of implementation.
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