Fact Sheet: Final Real ID Regulations

Document Date: January 11, 2008

Compliance Deadlines. States need to do almost nothing to comply with Real ID before 2014 (or 2017 for those over the age of 50).

  • DHS will grant an extension until Dec 31, 2009 to any state which requests one.
  • Citizens of states who become “materially compliant” will be able to use their license for all federal purposes until 2014 (or 2017 for those over the age of 50). Material compliance under the regulations is essentially what states are already doing in the issuance of licenses (and only a fraction of what the Real ID statute requires).

No penalty for non-compliance. Secretary Chertoff conceded today that other forms of identification will be acceptable to fly the airport. Further even states who have stated they will no comply with Real ID may file for an extension without committing to enacting Real ID. Essentially there is no penalty for non-compliance with the regulations.

Ignoring Statutory Requirements. The regulations do not comply with the statute in many places. For example, birth certificates and street address do not need to be verified with the issuing agency and there is no requirement that states share driver’s license information between states. The Real ID statute requires both.

Completely unworkable. The extended datelines and decision to ignore direct statutory requirements demonstrate clearly that the Real ID requirements are completely unworkable.

Privacy. The act still has significant privacy problems. DHS has not protected an individual’s personal information on the machine readable zone and allow for the use of widespread photo recognition. The regulations have left unresolved the requirement for a nationwide database of all drivers.

Constitutional questions. DHS left completely unresolved the significant constitutional concerns surrounding Real ID. While thousands of commentors raised these concerns, DHS simply stated they disagree without addressing any of the concerns.

Appeal. The regulations make no provisions for protecting the rights of individuals who cannot resolve database errors or other problems.

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