Monday, April 6, 2009

The Appearance of Security: New Proposal Changes Benchmarks for Secure IDs

/PRNewswire / -- The REAL ID Act, written in the wake of the September 11 attacks, has created the rules and regulations for states to follow, establishing minimum standards for secure state identification documents. Currently, a new piece of legislation named "Providing for Additional Security in States' Identification Act of 2009" or PASS ID Act is accumulating signatures in the Senate and may be introduced. A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies shows how this legislation would change the current benchmarks for secure IDs.

The report, "The Appearance of Driver License Security: REAL ID Final Regulations and Proposed PASS ID Act of 2009," was prepared by Janice Kephart, the Center's Director of National Security Policy and former 9/11 Staff Counsel. It is available on the Center's website at:

The changes the Pass ID Act would make to current law include:
-- Push full compliance out until 2021, 20 years after 9/11 and four
years past REAL ID.
-- State laws preempt the PASS ID Act, including privacy laws.
-- States may file a justification for noncompliance and receive an
-- Pushes off compliance for use of electronic verification of lawful
status (via the Department of Homeland Security's SAVE Program) until
January 1, 2013.
-- Deletes the requirement that "the applicant must provide sufficient
documentation for a state to both verify identity and authenticate
documents presented for the purpose of establishing identity."
-- Deletes requirement that applicants provide a Social Security number,
only needing to "take appropriate steps to validate" the number if the
applicant "has been issued a Social Security number."
-- Deletes the benchmarks and timetable for compliance.
-- Deletes requirement that states "make reasonable efforts" to ensure
that applicant does not have more than one driver's license/non-driver
ID under a different or same identity in state where applying, or has
been issued a DL/ID in another state. This weakness was exploited by
the 9/11 hijackers.
-- Deletes listing of acceptable documents to prove date of birth.
-- Deletes requirement that states verify birth certificates through the
Electronic Verification of Vital Events system, as it becomes
-- Deletes requiring two documents to show principal place of residence,
only requiring one, the same standard the 9/11 hijackers exploited to
obtain fraudulent ID cards in Virginia.
-- Deletes requirement that DL/ID not be issued until resolution with
issuing office if there is a non-match or a document does not appear
-- Deletes requirement that applicant supply full legal name.
-- Deletes applicant declaration that information presented is true and
correct under penalty of perjury.
-- Deletes some of the major anti-tampering requirements including that
the ID require an "easily identifiable visual or tactile feature" for
cursory examination without aids.

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