DHS grants states deferments on driver's license security compliance


Only 13 states have met stricter federal standards for driver's license security required under the Real ID Act of 2005, but the Homeland Security Department is granting all other states and territories temporary deferments as of Jan. 15.

The deferments will allow residents of the other 37 states to continue to board commercial aircraft and enter federal buildings using their state-issued IDs, according to an announcement from DHS.

DHS identified the states meeting Real ID standards as Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In the announcement, DHS said it will work with states and other stakeholders to develop a schedule for phased enforcement of the law, with a schedule to be published by early fall.

DHS was criticized in September by the Government Accountability Office for not providing enough support to states trying to implement the stricter standards. In a Sept. 21 report (.pdf), GAO said some states complained they weren't sure the measures they were taking would be sufficient to comply with the law, and have made assumptions based on informal remarks from DHS officials.

Julie Bird is a freelance reporter.

For more:
- read the DHS announcement
- download the GAO report (.pdf)

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