Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the final rule for the REAL ID Act, which establishes minimum security standards for state issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. States must adopt and comply with specific requirements laid out in the final rule, according to DHS, which include the following:
1) Certain information and security features must be included in each ID card;
2) Proof of the identity and U.S. citizenship or legal status of each applicant must be established;
3) Source documents provided by the applicant must be verified;
4) A range of new security standards must be met by all offices that issue licenses and ID cards.
States have been given their first deadline for compliance with the REAL ID Act: December 31, 2009. By then, states must have upgraded the security of their licenses systems.
“The American public’s desire for greater identity protection is undeniable,” said Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “Americans understand today that the 9/11 hijackers obtained 30 drivers licenses and ID’s, and used 364 aliases. For an extra $8 per license, REAL ID will give law enforcement and security officials a powerful advantage against falsified documents, and it will bring some peace of mind to citizens wanting to protect their identity from theft by a criminal or illegal alien.”