Governors, Motor Vehicle Administrators Want More Time to Reform Driver's Licenses

In comments filed May 8 about the draft DHS regulations to implement the Real ID Act, the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators said they need more time to implement the proposed changes. They praised the flexibility DHS will give to states through a self-certification process, but they asked for money needed to comply with the act, which mandates a new security system for driver's licenses.

The groups had urged DHS to allow a 10-year re-enrollment period for all citizens, so they dislike the proposed May 11, 2008, starting date and 2013 completion date. These dates don't give states enough time to prepare for implementation or to re-enroll their populations, the groups said. Other recommendations made again in these comments include allowing reciprocity for people already vetted by the federal government and providing federal electronic systems necessary to comply with the law.

The groups also recommend adopting uniform naming conventions to facilitate electronic verification between files and establishing card security criteria based on performance rather than technology. "The changes we are recommending for the proposed rule will help ensure that states, if they choose to do so, are able to implement the Real ID program in a cost-effective, customer-friendly, and logical manner," their chiefs said in the letter to DHS with comments attached. "We look forward to working with Congress on issues beyond the scope of DHS rulemaking authority. However, we believe that all of our recommendations in response to the NPRM are within DHS' authority to adopt and will advance the goals of Real ID. We look forward to working with DHS toward implementation of our recommendations."

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