GovWin confirmed with DHS Program Manager, Darrell Williams, five states have not filed for an extension for REAL ID compliance. Those states are; Delaware, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Montana and Maine. The extension provides states additional time to meet DHS deadlines, the first being Dec. 31, 2009 which requires states to have security upgrades in place for drivers license systems to provide verification of lawful status of all applicants, thereby ensuring illegal aliens cannot obtain REAL ID licenses.
Maine led opposition to the passage of the REAL ID legislation from the outset and Montana's Governor Schweitzer sent a letter to Colorado's Governor Bill Ritter (and 16 other governors), stating, "We recognized that Real ID was a major threat to the privacy, constitutional rights, and pocketbooks of ordinary Montanans."
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford voiced his concerns about REAL ID in his State of the State address in January: "We're defending privacy rights by becoming the fifth state in the country to say no to the heavy-handed Real ID legislation from the federal government, and I thank each one of you who voiced your opinion in that important debate tied to the larger principle of limiting federal power." That said, a state official commented to GovWin that the decision to file the extension is in the governor's court and legislators are not vehemently opposed to filing the extension, given there is no compulsory obligation by doing so. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has a hot button regarding customer service. The concern is simply protecting citizens from the impact systematic changes would have on citizens seeking a driver's license, given the state recovered from customer service issues in recent years.
- Opposition to REAL ID remains to be centered around two key issues; privacy and funding.
- Governors collectively continue to respond to REAL ID concerns, as evidenced by the February 24th National Governors Association meeting where all the heads of state voted to push back on DHS for more funding.
- DHS released $87 million dollars dedicated REAL ID grants; however, nationwide implementation costs are still estimated to be 3.9 billion, which means the states are left to fund the bulk of the effort.
- DHS has come a long way from this time last year and have responded in part to the cry of the states, as evidenced by the release of less stringent requirements in the final regulations released in January. Much work lies ahead to gain consensus and shared investment in REAL ID goals.