Maine lawmakers call for repeal of Real ID Act

In a state whose citizens are known for their individualism, a groundswell of resistance to the Real ID Act has exploded into fiery rhetoric.

The Maine House and Senate voted nearly unanimously late last week to approve a joint resolution urging President Bush and the U.S. Congress to repeal the Real ID Act of 2005.

During floor debate in both legislative chambers, lawmakers observed that the Real ID Act could cost state taxpayers upwards of $185 million to put in place.

"The federal government may be willing to burden us with the high costs of a program that will do nothing to make us safer, but it is our job as state legislators to protect the people of Maine from just this sort of dangerous federal mandate," said Maine Senate Majority Leader Libby Mitchell.

Regarded by many states as an unfunded edict from the federal government, the Real ID Act requires states by 2008 to overhaul and upgrade their driver's licenses and issuance processes, as well build a linked national network to house information validating the identity of hundreds of millions of driver's license holders.

A report released in September 2006 produced by several state government leadership organizations put the cost of implementing the Real ID act at $11 billion. More than 245 million people hold U.S. driver's licenses.

The intent of the law is to tighten procedures around driver's licenses issuance and eliminate duplicate licenses in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. However, the act has become a focal point for privacy advocates who charge that a national database of state ID cards and driver's licenses would be a rich target for identity thieves and that computer-readable cards allow anyone with a reader to collect personal information from card holders.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.