The REAL ID Act: Unfixed by the Regs and Unworkable on any Time Frame

Capitol Hill Briefing
March 12, 2007 12:00PM
628 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Featuring: Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Tim Sparapani, Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union; and David Williams, Vice President of Policy, Citizens Against Government Waste.
The REAL ID Act was rushed through Congress as an attachment to a military spending bill in 2005, without any hearings. Under the law, states are supposed to issue federally standardized driver’s licenses and make databases of driver information accessible nationwide by May 2008. DHS recently issued regulations that punted on the most difficult problems, delayed the compliance deadline, and raised the cost estimate for implementing the law to $17 billion. A growing number of state legislatures have passed resolutions against REAL ID, recognizing that regulations can’t make this law work, and neither can a delay. Bills to restore the more carefully crafted ID provisions of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 have been introduced in the House and Senate. Please join us for a discussion of identity-based security and the privacy, liberty, and cost consequences of the REAL ID Act.