ACLU-NC Applauds North Carolina House of Representatives for Passing House Bill 2136, Opposing the Controversial Federal Real ID Act as an Unfunded Mandate; Urges NC Senate to Act Quickly to Pass This Important Bill!

July 17, 2008 12:00 am

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States


RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) today applauded the NC House of Representatives for taking an important stand against the controversial federal Real ID Act, a law imposing onerous new requirements for the issuance of drivers’ licenses. House Bill 2136 passed overwhelmingly today with bipartisan support, by a vote of 69-45. Eleven (11) states have already passed legislation refusing to comply with Real ID, and if the NC Senate passes H. 2136 before the session adjourns this month, then North Carolina could become the twelfth (12th) state to block implementation of this law.

“This is a terrific first step toward putting an end to Real ID,” said Jennifer Rudinger, Executive Director of the ACLU-NC. “This law is an unworkable bureaucratic boondoggle that would result in many North Carolinians not being able to renew or obtain a drivers’ license, and moreover, it places an enormous economic burden on the states and the American taxpayers that North Carolina simply cannot afford.”

The Real ID Act passed Congress in 2005 without hearings and without debate. It was attached to a must-pass appropriations bill that provided funding to American troops overseas and victims of the South Asian tsunami. It has been at the center of controversy ever since.

Real ID requires that the databases of the Departments of Motor Vehicles of the 50 states and the U.S. territories must be linked to each other, a requirement that many privacy advocates claim increases the risk of identity theft. The law also requires drivers’ licenses to have a machine readable zone. In its final regulations on Real ID, the Department of Homeland Security did not require that this machine readable zone be encrypted, which raised the concerns of many consumer privacy advocates.

“Real ID would be a real nightmare, and North Carolina should join with other states around the country to block implementation of this law,” Rudinger said.

By completing this form, I agree to receive occasional emails per the terms of the ACLU’s privacy policy.

The Latest in National Security

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About National Security

National Security issue image

The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.