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February 21, 2007
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State to share concerns about Real ID

National forum seeks answers to problems posed by federal ID mandates

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has announced his participation in next week’s Government ID Technology Summit, being held in Washington, DC on Monday and Tuesday, February 26 and 27. Dunlap was sought after as a participant based on his keen understanding of the difficulties inherent in compliance with the federal Real ID Act. He has been actively involved in Real ID discussions since his appointment to the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. That committee’s task was to develop minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and personal identification cards as recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

“The passage of the Real ID Act created an entirely new paradigm for the issuance of driver’s licenses - one which presents many obstacles to implementation,” Dunlap said. “I hope to shed light upon the very real problems associated with totally revamping the process by which credentials such as driver’s licenses and state ID cards are issued.”

“Despite the laudable goal of increasing security for all Americans, the Real ID Act does nothing of the sort, not to mention the potentially enormous threats to personal privacy it poses. Unfortunately, however, it remains a part of federal law, and as such, compliance issues must be addressed.” Dunlap declared “states must be prepared to tackle the rollout of Real ID should recent legislation brought forward by Maine’s congressional delegation aimed at repealing this misguided law fall short.”

During discussions on Monday, Dunlap will be asked to provide information regarding expected fee increases, anticipated effects on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the general public, as well as numerous customer service problems expected to arise if and when Real ID takes effect.

Dunlap has been closely involved in the national discussion of identity security, participating in stakeholder processes and forums hosted by the Department of Homeland Security, Council of State Governments, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, and others.