On June 5th, DHS granted Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Virginia, Alaska, and South Carolina time extensions to comply with REAL ID until July 10, 2017. But in Senate testimony, Secretary Kelly made it clear to Congress that he is not backing off the plan for REAL ID enforcement. He told Senators that states will need to either comply with the REAL ID rules or start telling their residents to get passports. Click here for the video from C-Span.
Secretary Kelly Says REAL ID Will be Enforced but Extends Deadline
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Max Bluestein Warns that Fake IDs can Help Terrorists Rent Trucks in Homeland Security Today
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.
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.
NY DMV Warns that Ordering a Fake ID Could Result in ID Theft
Our Study on the Cost of Non-compliance with REAL ID in Pennsylvania Helps Push State to Standards
Pennsylvania is on the verge of passing legislation to bring the state into compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. State legislators passed a law prohibiting Pennsylvania from complying with the federal regulations in 2012, which left PennDOT behind as other states moved forward with the security standards to protect their residents from fraud. However, the mobile news site, Billy Penn, indicates that lawmakers will pass compliance bills within weeks. The article quotes Keeping IDentities Safe President Brian Zimmer on the high cost of non-compliance and mentions our report, indicating a potential cost of $1 billion to Keystone State residents that will have to obtain passports in order to fly on commercial airplanes. Click here for the story.
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.
New Keeping IDentities Safe Report: REAL ID Compliance in Pennsylvania Could Cost Residents $1 Billion
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
Brian Zimmer's Oped on Enforcement in Pennsylvania
In an oped in the Lebanon Daily News, Keeping IDentities Safe President Brian Zimmer wrote that the entire State of Pennsylvania is going to face the consequences for a 2012 bill that banned the state from complying with the REAL ID Act. Zimmer is responding to a recent editorial written by the bill's champion, State Sen. Mike Folmer, who incorrectly listed other states he claimed passed similar measures. Due to that type of misinformation, Pennsylvania residents are going to face enforcement at federal facilities next month and at airports next year. Click here for the story.
New Mexico Begins Issuing REAL ID Compliant Driver's Licenses
On Monday, November 14, 2016, the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) started issuing driver's licenses and identification cards that comply with the federal Real ID Act rules. While those who already possess a New Mexico driver's license may opt out upon renewal, in the first week most applicants are seeking a REAL ID compliant driver’s license. To obtain a Real ID license or ID card, applicants must present proof of identity, proof of identity document number, and two proofs of address in person at the MVD. Predictably, some residents are still showing up without the required proof of identity and/or residency despite public notices and a thorough online guide. If you're a New Mexico resident looking to get a REAL ID compliant driver's license from your local MVD, please click here to know what you need to bring before you arrive.
KIDS Honors PA State Rep. Ed Neilson for REAL ID Advocacy
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.