Group says Real ID program will cost billions

| Friday, September 22, 2006

A report from the National Governors Association says states will have to come up with more than $11 billion to implement the new Real ID Act.

The Washington Post reports the association estimates that 250 million Americans will have to be re-enrolled for new driver’s licenses and, in some cases, state identification cards.

The Real ID Act, which President Bush signed into law in May 2005, effectively stops any state from issuing a driver’s license to illegal immigrants. The measure requires proof that a person is in the country legally before that person can get a license.

The Act also contains measures that worry privacy advocates. It would require all licenses to contain certain information – much of which is already common to driver’s licenses. But it would also require every license to carry a “common machine-readable technology” – such as a computer chip that would carry all license information.

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