Congress Passes Real ID Act

By Cameron
May 10, 2005

Update 5/10/05:The Senate passed the supplemental appropriations conference report tonight by a vote of 100-0.

Update 5/6/05: The House passed the supplemental appropriations conference report yesterday by a overwhelming margin 368-58-1.

Original Post 5/5/05:The House and Senate have reached agreement on the Real ID Act. We posted the final agreement here. It is largely the same bill that passed the House as part of the supplemental appropriations bill (see our previous coverage for more background).

The legislation prevents federal agencies from accepting state driver’s licenses for official purposes unless they meet certain minimum standards spelled out in the act. It also requires states to check citizenship against federal databases. Finally, it requires all states to share these databases with each other. (There are several more provisions, but those are the highlights.)

Last month USACM sent the Senate a letter outlining its concerns about the security aspects of the database provisions and its national ID implications. It’s safe to say the final bill still raises those same concerns.

The Real ID Act is part of the supplemental appropriations bill, which the House is scheduled to consider, and will likely pass, today. The Senate will take up the bill next week. The President has already indicated he will sign it.