States Falling In Line With REAL ID Reality

Conn Carroll /

This week Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley followed in the footsteps of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer deciding to comply with REAL ID standards for drivers licenses, rejecting a plan that would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain an official state idenitifcation card. O’Malley said he did not want his state to become a haven for undocumented immigrants on the eastern seaboard:

We’d become an attraction to people who feel they can easily obtain a license through fraudulent means because they have one less thing to prove.

While there are some real concerns about the cost of compliance with REAL ID, other concerns expressed by activists like the ACLU are overblown. The organic act and subsequent Department of Homeland Security do not create a national database, nor does it create a national ID card.

All but one of the September 11 attackers carried government IDs issued by states. Uniform driver’s license standards were a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, and Congress should step up and support the plan by fully funding REAL ID implementation for FY 2009.