ACLU of Michigan Applauds State House for Rejecting Flawed REAL ID Act

October 30, 2007

Detroit – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan today applauded the State House of Representatives for passing a resolution that rejects participation in the REAL ID Act – the federal law that lays the foundation for a national identity card.

“This is the beginning of the end for REAL ID in Michigan. We applaud the State House for recognizing that the REAL ID Act is a real nightmare for our privacy,” said Kary L. Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan. "The House has rejected this unfunded mandate that could lead to rampant identity theft and we urge our State Senators to follow suit and take a stand for privacy.”

The REAL ID Act was adopted as part of a must pass military appropriations bill. REAL ID federalizes the design, issuance and management of state driver’s licenses, creating a uniform identity card and database tantamount to the first national ID card. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that implementation will cost the states and consumers $23 billion.

If implemented, the REAL ID Act would force Michigan to link parts of its Secretary of State database to the departments of motor vehicles of all other states without security or privacy standards in place. In addition, REAL ID calls on a nongovernmental third party to administer this database.

The anti-REAL ID Resolution, HR176, was passed unanimously by the New Economy and Quality of Life Committee last week and was passed by the full House Monday. The resolution resolves that the Michigan Legislature will not appropriate funds or enact legislation for implementation of REAL ID.  It makes a number of objections and urges Congress to repeal REAL ID and adopt the Identification Security Enhancement Act of 2007.

With the passage of this resolution, Michigan becomes one of 28 states to reject REAL ID in one or both chambers of the state legislature.

To read the resolution, go to: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2007-2008/resolutionadopted/House/pdf/2007-HAR-0176.pdf

For more on the REAL ID Act, including its status in various states, go to: www.realnightmare.org

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