AP: Real ID a real nightmare for DMVs

The Associated Press is reporting that the Real ID Act is the kind of nightmare that is keeping motor vehicle administrators up at night.

“It is just flat out impossible and unrealistic to meet the prescriptive provisions of this law by 2008,” Betty Serian, a deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said in an interview.

ACLU-PA hit the ground running after the passage of Real ID and has already spoken publicly on the issue with civic clubs, libertarians, and immigrant organizations. We responded to the AP story this afternoon:

“Civil liberties groups, conservative groups, immigration groups – we’ve all been saying that Real ID will be a real disaster and needs to be revisited by Congress,” said Larry Frankel, Legislative Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. “These documents indicate that PennDOT officials – the people actually responsible for carrying out this ill-conceived law – also have serious problems with Real ID.”

This is also from our press release:

“Pennsylvania officials are right to be concerned,” said Frankel. “Real ID not only means a national ID, but it will also mean higher taxes and fees, longer lines, repeat visits to licensing centers, bureaucratic snafus, and, for a lot of people, the inability to obtain a license. To top it off, it will do little if anything to prevent terrorism.”

Frankel noted that the national survey responses showed that the concerns expressed by Pennsylvania’s officials are broadly shared by motor vehicles administrators around the United States. For example, no state that responded to the survey seems to believe it is possible in the near future to link all the motor vehicle information databases between all states, as the statute requires. And 3 in 4 states reacted with “medium” to “high” concern to Real ID’s extensive new document-verification requirements, which they said would involve major systems changes and increased hiring – and that is assuming that AAMVA or the federal government will build electronic systems for verification.

Full text of press release

National ACLU has launched a new website on this issue at www.realnightmare.org.

At least the DMV’ers are maintaining a good sense of humor:

And a new record-sharing provision of Real ID was described by an Illinois official as “a nightmare for all states.”

“Can we go home now??” the official wrote.

Andy, H-burg

1 thought on “AP: Real ID a real nightmare for DMVs

  1. Without taking a stand on whether a national identification system is or isn’t a good idea, the idea of using the states’ motor vehicle departments as administrators of it is STUPID!!!

    I say this from experinece working with AAMVA, several states, and the Feds on several nation-wide data processing systems concerned with motor vehicle safety.

    At least the MVA’s are willing to say so frankly.

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