State Capitol News
3:02 am
Wed June 11, 2008

Real ID Law Passed

Phoenix, AZ – State legislators gave final approval today to a ban on participating in the federal government's Real ID program. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.


A 2005 federal law requires all states to adopt new standards for
drivers' licenses to make them more secure. That includes
requiring better proof that people are who they say they are. The
requirement is a direct outgrowth of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks
when some of the hijackers carried drivers' licenses which were
obtained fraudulently.

But foes say the Real ID Act creates a de
facto national identification card. And they fear the information
about license holders, including Social Security numbers and
copies of documents they provided to get the licenses in the
first place, will wind up in some nationally linked database that
could be hacked by identity thieves. The near unanious House
vote, which came without debate, specifically bars the state from
going along -- assuming the governor signs the bill.

The lone
dissenting vote was cast by Rep. Bill Konopnicki who had been
pushing an alternative he thought was more acceptable: An
optional license which the federal government would accept as
proof of citizenship but without the database. But that bill died
when Rep. Andy Biggs, a foe of Real ID, refused to give it a
hearing. Biggs called it -- quote -- an incremental step toward
Real ID.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.