Sunday, 20 July 2008

Homeland Security Is Helping States to Implement Real ID

Written by  The New American

Dept. of Homeland Security In the face of a widespread rebellion among the states against the unfunded Real ID mandate, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on June 20 demonstration grant awards totaling nearly $80 million to assist states in implementing Real ID for their driver’s licenses.

However, since DHS estimated earlier this year that states will have to spend $4 billion to implement Real ID, these grants will be just a drop in the bucket. Homeland Security has also awarded $17 million to Missouri to lead the development of a verification hub for verifying driver’s license applicants’ source documents. Four other states — Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin — will receive $1.2 million each to help test and implement this hub, which would ultimately serve many other states.

Meanwhile, Arizona became the 10th state to pass legislation rejecting the Real ID program on June 11 when its House passed HB2677 by a vote of 51 to 1. The Senate had already approved the bill by 21 to 7 on May 6. On June 17 Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the bill.

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