Sen. Carper Cosponsors “PASS ID” Bill To Increase Identification Security While Protecting Privacy Of Delaware Citizens

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined a bipartisan group this week to introduce the Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009 (PASS ID). This bill will implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations to enhance the security of driver’s licenses, while reforming and resolving many of the cost and privacy issues associated with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

“The PASS ID legislation will significantly improve Delaware’s ability to protect its federal buildings and citizens, and ease the cost of statewide implementation,” said Sen. Carper. “I believe this new legislation is a step forward in an ongoing effort to protect the country from harmful actors, as well as honoring citizens’ privacy concerns.”

All states have made progress to improve identification security, but many are unable or unwilling to fully implement REAL ID. PASS ID is an attempt to move beyond the current stand-off between the states and the federal government. 

– PASS ID would eliminate the current REAL ID Act (Title II, pertaining to identification security) and replace it with legislation based on the REAL ID Act, without the provisions that burdened states without adding real security.

– PASS ID is fully consistent with the 9/11 Commission recommendation that the “federal government should set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification, such as drivers’ licenses.”

– PASS ID increases security by facilitating participation of all jurisdictions and addressing states’ largest concerns with REAL ID, making it possible for states with anti-REAL ID laws to come into compliance with federal law.

– PASS ID strengthens the protection of personally identifiable information.

“This legislation will reduce the cost and time of REAL ID implementation to the state of Delaware, as well as provide more privacy protections to our citizens that the earlier REAL ID Act of 2005 left out,” said Sen. Carper.

The PASS ID Act would change the REAL ID Act to enhance the security and integrity of driver’s licenses and identification cards while addressing the concerns states have with the REAL ID Act. The legislation has the support of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), privacy and civil liberties groups, and the National Governors Association and National Council of State Legislators. The legislation is expected to be taken up by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee next month, and Sen. Carper is a key member of that Senate committee.