ATA criticizes Real ID

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The federal Real ID Act is impossible for the states to implement and would have “extreme consequences” for many truckers, the American Trucking Associations said in recently submitted comments.

Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2005, the Real ID Act is designed to create national standards for issuing state driver’s licenses and identification cards in 2009. A Real ID would be required of anyone using a driver’s license to board a commercial flight or enter a federal facility.

The ATA submitted comments May 4 on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s draft Real ID rule. “Unfortunately, both the act and DHS’s rule prescribe requirements which the states cannot meet, either in the time provided or with the resources available to them,” the association wrote. “In addition, since the Real ID requirements include commercial driver’s licenses, the rule would have extreme consequences for motor carriers and truck drivers who serve federal facilities and for those facilities themselves.”

Homeland Security should reassess whether a consolidated transportation worker identification credential, or TWIC, can substitute for a Real ID among truck drivers and other transportation workers, the ATA said.

The National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association also have expressed concerns, saying states lack the resources to carry out the Real ID mandate. Some states have adopted measures opposing Real ID.

The American Civil Liberties Union has charged that Real ID will be a bureaucratic nightmare. “By placing personally identifiable information in databases accessible across the country, Real ID makes the information more vulnerable to identity theft and misuse,” the ACLU said in a statement.