DHS establishing new driver license standards
Jan 30, 2008 1:02 PM
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is establishing minimum standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards that federal agencies would accept for official purposes on or after May 11, 2008, according to a final rule published in the Federal Register January 29.
The rule (6 CFR Part 37) establishes standards to meet the minimum requirements of the REAL ID Act of 2005. These standards involve a number of aspects of the process used to issue identification documents, including: information and security features that must be incorporated into each card; application information to establish the identity and immigration status of an applicant before a card can be issued; and physical security standards for facilities where driver's licenses and applicable identification cards are produced.
Taking into consideration the operational burdens on state departments of motor vehicles, DHS said it is extending the enrollment time period to allow states determined by DHS to be in compliance with the act to replace all licenses intended for official purpose with REAL ID-compliant cards by December 1, 2014, for people born after December 1, 1964, and by December 1, 2017, for those born on or before December 1, 1964.
DHS said that one commenter wrote that lost income would be borne by commercial drivers and motor carriers domiciled in non-compliant states, and that the costs to commercial drivers to obtain new REAL ID commercial drivers licenses may result in reduced trucking services to federal facilities. Another commenter wrote that the DHS cost estimate of $7.88 billion over 10 years would amount to a cost of $96.25 per REAL ID holder.
DHS acknowledged the concerns of the individuals who commented that this rule will impose significant costs and believes that a large portion of the costs will be passed on from the states to the states' REAL ID applicants in the form of higher fees for driver's licenses. But each citizen in the United States, whether he or she has a driver's license or not, will be receiving security benefits as a result of this rulemaking, DHS argued.
Another commenter expressed concern about the impact of REAL ID on commercial truck drivers, and suggested that drivers without REAL ID identification cards would be far less valuable to carriers. One commenter wrote that motor carriers domiciled in non-compliant states would be at a severe disadvantage in finding drivers, and commercial drivers themselves will have to absorb the additional costs of REAL ID, including increased fees to obtain licenses and lost income. DHS responded by stating that any additional fees that DMVs may charge to obtain a REAL ID document will not fall disproportionately on commercial drivers. Nothing in the rules precludes companies employing commercial drivers from subsidizing the costs incurred by the drivers they employ, DHS said.
More information about the rule can be found online in the Federal Register.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.