BATON ROUGE -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana today urged the state legislature to join the growing list of states that have rebelled against the Real ID Act?a giant unfunded Congressional mandate that would federalize Louisiana drivers? licenses, turn them into a national ID system, and force us to give up sensitive information for storage in a national database.
"Real ID would crush our privacy rights and impose huge costs on the state government, taxpayers, drivers and residents," said Joe Cook of the ACLU of Louisiana. "On top of all that, it won't even make us safer. It just stinks to high heaven."
The proposed resolution (House Concurrent Resolution No. 20) by River Ridge Representative Shirley Bowler would make Louisiana the 18th state in the nation to pass legislation against the act. It calls on Congress to "take such actions as are necessary to repeal the federal Real ID Act of 2005." It declares that "the state of Louisiana refuses to comply with the unfunded mandates of the Real ID Act of 2005," and that "the national database proposed through the Act will invite identity theft and invasion of privacy."
"It's bad enough that thousands of Louisianans lost their birth certificates and other vital documents in Hurricane Katrina," said Cook. "Now the Federal Government comes along looking to make life even harder for our people by imposing inflexible rules to ban them from getting a driver's license and, adding insult to injury, sends the bill to Louisiana."
In Congress, legislation has been introduced that would eliminate Real ID's worst privacy violations and allow experts to develop a plan to improve ID security nationwide, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission.
"Real ID would be a complete nightmare for Louisiana and the legislature must do the right thing," said Cook. "Once the people of Louisiana add their voices to the growing chorus against this ill-conceived law, the chances will improve that Congress will finally fix this problem and say 'no' to Real ID."