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Rep. Davis Asks DHS for REAL ID Implementation Strategy

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07020263 (posted Feb. 2, 2007)"

Press Release

In Wake of Maine vote, Davis asks for its REAL ID Implementation Strategy

January 31, 2007

Contact: David Marin / Brian McNicoll (202)225-5074

WASHINGTON, D.C. - With Maine having decided not to implement the digital ID standards established under the REAL ID Act, and several other states considering similar moves, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., has asked the Department of Homeland Security for information on how it plans to implement this important program.

Rep. Davis, who helped author key portions of the Act, sent a letter to Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of the Homeland Security, asking for a briefing on the program.

"Recognizing that the REAL ID program was enacted to protect the American people from possible terrorists using drivers' licenses to board planes, open bank account sand acquire jobs, the refusal of implementation by any state is potentially problematic," the letter states. "You have stated in the past that it is the goal of DHS to have the REAL ID Act in place by 2008. Because DHS has not issued the congressionally mandated standards for the program, it is important for Congress to learn the status of implementation of the REAL ID Act directly from you and your staff."

In addition to Maine, bills are pending in the state legislatures of Montana, Washington, Georgia and Massachusetts. For this reason, Davis states, "the department's leadership in the coming weeks is crucial to the success or failure of the REAL ID program."

Along with the DHS letter, Davis and his staff have begun conversations with relevant stakeholder groups - including the National Council of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the Coalition for Secure ID - to better determine the scope and nature of state opposition.

The letter to Secretary Chertoff is attached.