25 revenue offices across the State of Arkansas began issuing REAL ID compliant driver's licenses on October 3. The state is calling its compliant licenses the "Voluntary Enhanced Security Driver's License," not to be confused with Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDLs) which contain RFID chips and can be used to cross land borders in lieu of a passport. The REAL ID compliant licenses will be optional for Arkansas residents and can be used for identification at federal checkpoints, like TSA and military bases. They will cost $40 or $10 to convert a current, valid driver's license. Click here for the story.
Montana will begin issuing REAL ID compliant driver's licenses and ID cards in January 2019 - but it has already started a highly impressive public information campaign spearheaded by the best REAL ID focused website that we've seen. The Montana Motor Vehicle Division unveiled MTrealid.gov on September 5, 2018, which not only conveys all of the Treasure State's important REAL ID compliance information to customers in a clear, concise, and illustrative manner, but also provides an interactive chat dialogue for those with further questions. The MVD's efforts will no doubt help with a smooth REAL ID roll out for the state's well-informed residents. Check it out and see what a truly effective awareness campaign looks like.
Maine Governor Got REAL ID Bill he Sought from the Legislature
Maine's Governor Paul LePage got what he asked for from the the state legislature. His April 28 signature on a bill enacted a new law to authorize compliance with the REAL ID regulations. Maine residents will now avoid hassles at airports and military bases, thanks to the Governor's leadership on secure identification.
Click here for the story.
Bluestein: A Key Step to Preventing the Next Terrorist Truck Attack
This month's truck attack in Stockholm, Sweden that killed four marked the fourth mass murder by Islamist terrorists using heavy vehicles in Europe since July. The other attacks include 84 killed in France, 12 in Germany and five in the UK. Add to that the multiple truck attacks in Israel, a thwarted truck attack in Spain, a thwarted ramming attack in Belgium and successful ramming attacks in North Carolina and Ohio over the last few years. The pattern is clear: trucks are the new terrorist weapons of choice. We've been warning about this since guidance was issued by Al Qaeda in 2010 to use trucks as "the ultimate mowing machine... not to mow grass but mow down the enemies of Allah." A more recent manual was issued by ISIS that told terrorists to use trucks, not cars, to attack major cities, as "smaller vehicles are incapable of granting the level of carnage that is sought." It also called for terrorists to rent their trucks if they cannot buy them. Click here for the story in Homeland Security Today.
This new report projects potential costs by the end of calendar year 2018 for “once a year” travelers from the estimated 60% of Pennsylvania citizens who do not now possess passports range from a best case of $406 million cost to a worst case of $966 million. The government of Pennsylvania should take necessary legal and process changes to come into compliance with the REAL ID Act without delay. Click here for the report.
Keeping IDentities Safe President Brian Zimmer presented the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with an award for Document Security Excellence in Columbus, OH on Sept. 4, 2018. The award recognizes innovative card upgrades to the security features and physical attributes that reduce counterfeiting and improve the reliability of card authentication by government and business. 145 BMV employees received certificates of achievement, recognizing their individual contributions to improvements which protect identities and personal information and prevent identity theft and fraud.
In November and December 2018, Keeping IDentities Safe handed out three different awards in Montana and Maryland for demonstrated excellence in promoting document security. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration received the 2018 National Security Excellence Award on December 11 for its decade-long commitment to enhancing the security and integrity of the state's driver credentialing system. On November 14, Keeping IDentities Safe awarded the Montana Motor Vehicle Division with its Public Engagement Excellence Award for the MVD's REAL ID public information campaign and new website, mtrealid.gov. And on November 13, Keeping IDentities Safe presented an award to a number of Montana State University Billings students and faculty for their roles in creating TV advertisements advising Montanans about the state's new REAL ID driver's licenses. Click here for more.
Director of Research Max Bluestein published an April 14, 2015 op ed in USA Today about the risks of fake IDs to our national security. The column, titled "Fake IDs a bigger issue than underage drinking", highlighted the risks of high quality counterfeit U.S. driver's licenses flooding in from China. Click here to see the story in USA Today.
At its 2017 international conference this summer, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) announced an operational Proof of Concept for a mobile driver's license (mDL). In putting together this concept, AAMVA commissioned a working group that includes DMV and IT officials from many US states, Canadian provinces, and private companies, with the mission to make mDLs a common means of identity throughout the country. AAMVA also released a short video on how this technology works. Click here for the video.
KIDS Honors PA State Rep. Ed Neilson for REAL ID Advocacy
Owen McShane, Director of Investigations for the New York DMV, says that many people ordering fake IDs online are finding themselves victims of identity theft. In the video to the left, McShane says that when customers send photos of their real licenses to vendors in order to "verify they aren't law enforcement", their identity information bounces all over the world. Click here to watch the video from CBS6-Albany.
Montana Motor Vehicle Division Unveils Nation's Best REAL ID Website
Many DMVs Proactively Informing Customers of REAL ID Changes
On May 25, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed a bill that will allow the state to comply with the REAL ID Act. Montana has historically been one of the most resistant states to REAL ID, due to a misinformed legislature and governors. But finally, state residents can rest assured that they will have the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver's license to fly on commercial airlines and enter military bases. Congratulations to the governor and his constituents. Click here to watch the video from MTN News.
The Editorial Board of the Oklahoman wrote a strong piece urging state lawmakers to comply with the REAL ID Act so that their constituents wouldn't need passports to enter military bases starting in October, "the first of many inconveniences should legislators continue to ignore federal law". The editorial cites Keeping IDentities Safe's Andrew Meehan on other reasons Oklahoma needs to get on board with most states in adopting the best practices set back in 2008. Click here for the story in the Oklahoman.
As more states come into compliance with REAL ID requirements and the deadline approaches, many DMVs are producing excellent video guides to walk customers through the changes. Take a look at some of the videos we've collected.
On Monday, October 3, Louisiana began issuing driver's licenses that are compliant with federal security standards. The new compliant licenses will be an option for Louisiana residents and DMV customers may still opt for a non-compliant license, marked "not for federal identification" or a compliant license marked with a gold star. Both licenses will cost the same but the compliant license can be used to board aircraft and enter secure federal facilities upon enforcement of the REAL ID Act. Click the video to the left for more.
NY DMV Warns that Ordering a Fake ID Could Result in ID Theft
AAMVA Announces Proof of Concept for Mobile Licenses
There have been many strategic rifts between al-Qaeda and ISIS, but they haven’t split on one operational maxim: get fake IDs to avoid detection. The 9/11 Commission concluded in its final 2004 report that “for terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.” That’s because the 9/11 hijackers used over 30 different fraudulent IDs between 18 terrorists to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, hide from law enforcement, enroll in flight schools, and board the aircraft that took 3,000 lives. Click here for the article in the Daily Caller.
At Close of 2018, Keeping IDentities Safe Hands Out Trio of Awards
Andrew Meehan argues in the Salt Lake Tribune that a cut in funding to REAL ID would undo the progress Utah and rest of the states have made, waste $300 million taxpayer dollars and ultimately result in a loss of robust privacy protections that have resulted from REAL ID's implementation.. Click here for the story in the St. Louis Tribune.
After Decade-Long Battle, Montana Governor Signs REAL ID Bill
Rep. Neilson said of the award, "The General Assembly made real strides in May to get Pennsylvania in compliance with the federal law and as a result, the Department of Homeland Security granted us with yet another extension to work towards that compliance. I am proud to receive the Recognition Award for Homeland Security Leadership and Public Engagement and to have been part of the movement to assure Pennsylvanians would not need to get passports to board a plane or to have access to federal facilities." Click here for the story.
Zimmer Presents Ohio BMV with Document Security Excellence Award
New Keeping IDentities Safe Report: REAL ID Compliance in Pennsylvania Could Cost Residents $1 Billion