Delegate Robert G. Marshall’s HB 1587 Sent to House of Delegates Senator Ken T. Cuccinelli’s SB 1431 Sent to SenateRichmond, VA – Identical House and Senate bills prohibiting the Virginia government from complying with provisions of the Federal REAL ID Act that compromise the privacy rights of Virginia’s citizens passed committees of both chambers today, and are headed to the floor of both.
Marshall’s bill was reported from the House Transportation Committee this morning. Cuccinelli’s bill was reported from the Senate Transportation Committee early this evening.
“We’re pleased with the progress these bills are making this year,” said ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Kent Willis. “REAL ID not only allows the government to create an massive new data base containing highly personal data about nearly every adult in the United States, but that data base will almost certainly become a gold mine for identity thieves.”
“Word is finally getting out that REAL ID is a very real threat to our privacy rights,” added ACLU Legislative Counsel Hope Amezquita. “Legislators clearly want to limit its impact in Virginia, and these bills are a good start.”
Passed by Congress in 2005, but still unimplemented, the Real ID Act requires every state DMV to issue a federally-approved driver’s license that will become part of a national database. Real IDs will be required to board an airplane and to access many federal facilities.
If the bills become law, Virginia will join 21 other states that have passed anti-Real ID Act legislation, some asking Congress to amend the law, some refusing to comply with some portions of the law, and others rejecting the law entirely. (For more information on REAL ID and actions taken by other states, visit www.realnightmare.org.)
The Virginia bills are not an outright rejection of Real ID but prevent any ID or database linked to the ID from containing biometric data (such as DNA, fingerprints, or retinal scans) or financial information that compromises “economic privacy” (such as tax returns or personal investment information).
Real ID Act opponents say it will cost billions of dollars to implement, will greatly complicate and congest the system for obtaining drivers’ licenses by requiring background checks on every applicant, and will, in effect, create a mandatory national ID system.
Contact: Kent Willis (office) 804/644-8022