Real ID Provisions May Mean Longer Lines at the DMV

Let's wait a minute and think about the Real ID provisions tucked inside substitute amendment 1150 in the immigration bill being debated by the Senate.  Is the intent to block illegal immigration, or do our elected officials really mean for this amendment to block hardworking Americans from getting a job?

This amendment would require all U.S. citizens, and those aliens here lawfully, to obtain a REAL ID compliant driver’s license before they can be employed.  And it would require employers to verify these IDs.  So, if your state has elected not to issue "Real ID-compliant" driver's licenses you cannot be employed.  No Real  ID or passport, no work.

These provisions will result in an overwhelming operational burden on motor vehicle agencies nationwide.  And you know what that means:  longer lines and wait times at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  And it could potentially threaten the personal privacy of every US citizen by requiring motor vehicle agencies to share customers’ digital images (photos) with  every potent ional  employer.

This is an example of egregious mission creep. And it expands the "official purpose" of The REAL ID Act (P.L. 109-13) which is limited to accessing federal facilities, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, and entering nuclear power plants.

The association, and its member jurisdictions, encourage Congress to strike the REAL ID provisions contained in Section 302 because it is premature to include REAL ID requirements in the immigration bill. We need DHS to issue the final rules to implement the statute before deciding if this program should be expanded.