Real ID Press Release

01.12.06

Documents Show Ohio BMV Wary of REAL ID

New Law Expected to Hassle Drivers, Others

CLEVELAND– The ACLU has obtained documents that further confirm that the REAL ID Act will be difficult to implement, cause a heavy financial burden on Ohio state taxpayers and will further complicate the system currently in place for drivers to obtain their license in Ohio.

The documents are part of a national survey of state motor vehicle officials’ views and preparation for complying with Real ID that was conducted by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). The Associated Press first reported the documents today. The ACLU obtained a copy of Ohio’s response to the survey.

ACLU of Ohio Legal Director Jeff Gamso said, “Ohio officials are right to be concerned. Real ID not only means a national ID, but it will mean higher taxes and fees, longer lines, repeat visits to the Ohio BMV, bureaucratic snafus, and, for a lot of people, the inability to obtain a license. To top it off, it will do little if anything to prevent terrorism.”

The Act was passed by the U.S. Congress last spring and imposes federal regulations on the design, issuance and management of state driver’s licenses –turning them, for all practical purposes, into federal identity papers.

The REAL ID Act was signed into law on May 11, 2005 despite widespread criticism from various groups spanning the ideological spectrum including government associations, civil rights groups, privacy groups, conservative groups, gun owners groups, domestic violence advocates and immigration groups.

Gamso added, “So many people have voiced their concerns with the REAL ID Act that Congress should feel obligated to hold hearings, listen to interests and reconsider the passage of this act.” Gamso went on, “Ohioans should join together and block this ineffective and potentially disastrous law before it takes effect.”