The Real ID Act of 2005 requires all states to meet a national standard for identification cards and participate in a shared database, but some have objected, citing privacy and budget concerns. Maine has led the charge of about a dozen states that may pass laws objecting to and opting out of the federal mandate.
The Maine Legislature on Jan. 26 overwhelmingly passed a resolution objecting to the Real ID Act of 2005. The federal law sets a national standard for driver’s licenses and requires states to link their record-keeping systems to national databases.
Within a week of Maine’s action, lawmakers in Georgia, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington state also balked at Real ID. They are expected soon to pass laws or adopt resolutions declining to participate in the federal identification network.
“It’s the whole privacy thing,” said Matt Sundeen, a transportation analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “A lot of legislators are concerned about privacy issues and the cost. It’s an estimated $11 billion implementation cost.”