Real ID Act should be rejected say conservative groups, ACLU
March 17, 2009
CARSON CITY ” Conservative groups joined by the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday urged the Senate Finance Committee to reject the federal Real ID Act as an intrusion on privacy and a waste of money.
“I’ve had a couple hundred letters on this and they’re all against it,” said Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas. “We have the left and the right against this. Really, I need a refresher why are we doing this.”
Debbie Wilson of DMV said fears of people’s privacy being invaded are groundless since no new information is collected from people under Real ID than DMV currently gets before issuing a drivers license.
Rebecca Gasca of ACLU told the committee the program is “riddled with privacy concerns.” She also cautioned the committee that spending $1.5 million in state money and a total of $5.1 million altogether would be a waste because when the rules are changed again this year, Nevada will just have to re-do its program at greater cost.
“The federal guidelines are going to change and the state of Nevada is going to be stuck holding the bag,” she said.
David Schumann of the Independent American Party said Real ID is an unfunded mandate and a danger to individual privacy rights.
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“We’re going down a slippery slope on this,” he said.
Janine Hansen of Eagle Forum said some states like Montana are getting exemptions from the requirements that everyone prove their identification and right to be lawfully in the United States before they can get a Real ID compliant drivers’ license.
“I will not participate in Real ID,” she said. “Does that make me a non-person?”
DMV officials, however, said there are no states getting exemptions to the requirements, only extensions.
The committee took no action on SB52, which would implement the program to meet federal requirements by the end of this calendar year.