The driver’s license security standards enacted in the REAL ID Act of 2005 have been fully met by only 13 states and the administration has deferred for the fourth time a deadline intended to ensure compliance with the law. The Department of Homeland Security issued a press release on December 20 in which it said, “…those states not found to meet the standards will receive a temporary deferment that will allow Federal agencies to continue to accept their licenses and identification cards for boarding commercial aircraft and other official purposes.”
A few states have openly defied the administration and adopted a policy of refusing to comply with the law, and rather than calling their bluff, the administration has pursued a policy of ignoring the defiance and repeatedly issuing compliance extensions. It apparently is not because DHS does not recognize the importance of the security issue involved in secure driver’s licenses. The press release says, “Secure driver’s licenses and identification documents are a vital component of a holistic national security strategy. Law enforcement must be able to rely on government-issued identification documents and know that the bearer of such a document is who he or she claims to be.” But tightening up the issuance standards as required by the law also limits the ability of illegal aliens to obtain licenses with fraudulent documents, and that is a concern of the defenders of illegal aliens – a constituency that is apparently more important to the administration than the public in general that remains more vulnerable to international terrorism as long as comprehensive driver’s license security remains deferred.