The Costs Of Real ID

The Department of Homeland Security designed the Real ID Program. Have you wondered what it will cost to implement? There’s argument over who funds the implementation of it, the Feds or the States. In the end it doesn’t matter because in the end it is the Taxpaying Citizen who is really funding this program.

Funding for Invasive Real ID Cons States in Exchange for Their Privacy

WASHINGTON, DC – February 6 – After releasing regulations last month that failed to fix the manifold privacy and civil liberties violations of the Real ID Act, the federal government has left state governments to shoulder most of the cost of the onerous, invasive national ID program. The President’s budget proposal requests only $110 million in federal grant money toward the states for Real ID implementation, and even that money, if actually appropriated by Congress, will be split among Real ID and other programs.

Real ID, which the American Civil Liberties Union believes should be reformed or repealed in the first place for its threats to civil liberties, has been attacked by governors and state legislators nationwide for forcing them to sacrifice their residents’ privacy and having their own state governments pay for the intrusion.

Even combined with about $80 million in federal dollars already in place to pay for Real ID implementation, the funding would fall far short of the projected cost – estimated by the Department of Homeland Security to fall between four and 23 billion dollars – for the constitutionally suspect driver’s license program. States are left to fend for themselves to comply with the unfair, unworkable demands of the Real ID Act. The National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan coalition of state legislators, expressed outrage at the paltry funding request, calling it the “most egregious example” of unfunded federal mandates.

“The financial costs are too high for taxpayers, and the privacy costs are too high for all Americans,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “DHS expected state officials to sacrifice their residents’ privacy if the federal government would foot the bill, but DHS is incapable of holding up even that much of their skewed bargain. Every governor should follow the lead of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer and opt out of Real ID as soon as they can. Every governor, every state legislator and every taxpayer should be insulted by how little the Department of Homeland Security values their privacy. Congress should embrace the bipartisan efforts to reform Real ID or end the program altogether.”

Read FULL STORY here.


There’s an FAQ page on CNet with questions and answers on how the Real ID will affect you. There’s a map of the country and if you click on your state you’ll see where your state stands on the implemenation of this horrendous program.

Here’s a sampling of some questions:

Q: When does the Real ID Act take effect?
On May 11, a little more than three months from now. But states like California that have agreed to comply and ones like Pennsylvania that have requested a deadline extension are not affected–driver’s licenses from those states will continue to work for entering federal buildings and flying commercially.

Some states seem to have requested an extension as a tactical maneuver with little intention of ever complying. Washington and Idaho may fall into this category. A spokesman for Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter told us: “We’ve asked for an extension, but we still have serious concerns and reservations about it and its future here is to be determined.”

Q: Who’s going to have trouble flying or entering federal buildings starting May 11?
Residents of the five states–Maine, South Carolina, Montana, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire–that have firmly rejected Real ID. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have not decided yet, meaning they could fall into this category too.

Q: So if I live in Maine, South Carolina, Montana, Oklahoma, or New Hampshire, and I want to fly out of any U.S. airport starting May 11, what happens?
The Bush administration has not answered that question. The Transportation Security Administration referred our questions to the Department of Homeland Security. A Homeland Security spokesman told us: “That’s an operational, ongoing issue at this point in time. We’ll need to be a bit closer in.”

One likely situation is that starting May 11, security checkpoints at all U.S. airports will have a Real ID and a non-Real ID line. Non-Real ID would be in the slow line, which Homeland Security predicts will involve “delays” and “enhanced security screening.” (One official with the Portland International Airport even joked about a mandatory “full body cavity search.”)

Q: Will the federal government issue more regulations about when I have to show a Real ID license?
Probably. One Homeland Security official told Congress last year that Real ID could be used for “reducing unlawful employment, voter fraud, and underage drinking.” Another recently suggested that Americans buying cold medicines like Sudafed with pseudoephedrine could be required to show Real ID.

Q: Does Homeland Security have the authority to do that kind of expansion, or can only Congress expand Real ID?
Homeland Security has the authority. The text of the law says that, starting May 11, “a federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver’s license or identification card issued by a state to any person unless the state is meeting the requirements of this section.” Official purpose is defined to include “any other purposes” that Homeland Security thinks is wise.

The potential list of “purposes” could be long. Real ID could in theory be required for traveling on Amtrak, collecting federal welfare benefits, signing up for Social Security, applying for student loans, interacting with the U.S. Postal Service, entering national parks, and so on.

Looks really lovely so far, doesn’t it? Do you think our founding father’s had THIS in mind when they were drawing up the Constitution and founding our Republic?

I don’t know about you, but this whole thing gives me the heeby jeebies and does NOT make me feel safer at all.


~ by swfreedomlover on February 10, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Costs Of Real ID”

  1. I’ve got a Real Problem with this Real ID.
    Will the government require stores to record purchases with this card?
    You know, those ‘sin’ purchases….alcohol, tobacco and firearms to name but three…..

    Love your site by the way.

  2. If you read the rules on Real ID, you’ll see that it specifically states that the DoHS CAN add/change the uses at will. They recently added needing it to enter National Parks. So yes, I can see them requiring this for the purchase of just about anything they want.

    I recently heard, though I haven’t researched yet, that Avery Dennison….you know office label makers….also makes labels for clothing and clothing labels with RFID chips in them. Now, I ask you, WHY do clothing labels need these chips? I’m sure some fool will say it’s so stolen clothing can be recovered. I am sure that is a good use for them, but I seriously doubt that’s the real purpose. I haven’t heard that there’s any pandemic of clothing theft going on to such a degree to warrant that.

    Needless to say, from now on, I’m removing ALL labels from ALL my clothing, etc.

    Glad you like my blog, I’m having fun doing this, so much so that my roommate also started one. In my blogroll ‘just my truth’. Hope you’ll visit often and don’t be shy about commenting if you wish.

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