Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CORRECTION: The REAL ID Deadline Is Fake

Jim Harper c/o Cato Institute

Some state governments have claimed that a pending compliance deadline for REAL ID requires them to tighten up their driver’s licensing procedures consistent with the 2005 national ID law. (But see this.)

In fact, REAL ID is dead and the deadline is fake. More than a dozen states have statutorily barred themselves from complying, and in a rule published Monday the Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline again. This is the same thing it did last May and could easily do indefinitely.

The republic survives, and will survive quite nicely without this or any national ID law.


BTC Commentary - We addressed this topic lightly in our editorialized piece Kick the Can, Anyone? Anyone?

In essence, refusal to renew or file an extension is refusal to comply with the Real ID Act. We don't expect any consequences to States because the Act is unenforceable and declared "D.O.A." DHS Secretary Napolitano.


The administrative drift towards bureaucratic compliance drones on towards States like a paper zombie. That is the nature of federal government paperwork. When an early alarm sounds, you hit the snooze button. State action is case specific, of course. However, if I were to follow my gut ...not a single state government is in any hurry to shell out cash for a repealing identity program. So what do you do with the machinations of a deadline? The same thing most people do with their computerized updates; select the "NOT NOW" button and go on about your business by supporting the effort to comprehensively repeal the Real ID Act.

IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR STATE BUDGET FOR COMPLIANCE... The best you can do is check in with your local governor's office. An extension is a procrastinatory note; it's not a budget or widgets sold. Real ID is considered dead. One course of action for pragmatic States is to roll over and do nothing. A State government who wants to play paper wall ball with DHS; you will fill out some sheets of paper that kick the can down the road. This creates another deadline until the federal government has decided what to do about the tarbaby a.k.a. the Real ID Act.

There are two paths with the same result.

You're state will do nothing or fill out an extension, which is something that really amounts to nothing but another deadline. By December 31, 2009 some states will be in "compliance" by filing extension paper and at least 24 states will have something signed by their governor substantiating they are not going along with Real ID regulatory conditions. Real ID will still be dead at that time.

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