Last week, Washington became the fourth state to pass legislation opposing the Real ID Act. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, one of 600 groups opposed to the federal law, Arkansas and Idaho have passed similar legislation. Maine pioneered the states' revolt against Real ID.
More than 600 groups oppose the Real ID Act, which was inserted into a military spending bill two years ago. They include the National Governors Association, the American Bar Association, the American Conservative Union, the Council of State Governments, Gun Owners of America, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Washington's bill refuses to implement the act unless the federal government pays for it in its entirety and provides privacy protections. Maine legislators passed a resolution opposing the bill because of costs and privacy concerns. And last week the House of Representatives in New Hampshire passed a bill opposing the law.
Legislators from other states, including Arizona, Minnesota, and South Carolina, are considering similar legislation.
The law requires states to create driver's licenses that meet national standards and to store information in nationally connected databases. Critics say that it essentially creates a national ID card and makes citizens vulnerable to identity theft and privacy invasion. The unfunded requirements are expected to cost states more than $50 million in the first five years.
The law enacts recommendations from the 9/11 Commission Report, but critics say none of the hijackers who attacked America in 2001 needed fake identification. They all came to the United States legally and obtained driver's licenses. The Real ID Act, however, does increase documentation requirements for obtaining licenses.