The Department of Homeland Security announced $79 million in grants to states for implementation of the REAL ID national identification system. The funds will go to projects “such as collecting applicants’ photos at the start of the application process and incorporating additional physical security features into DLs and IDs. Other funded projects that advance REAL ID implementation, include transitioning to centralized DL and ID production, improving data records for driver’s licenses, and upgrading source document imaging and storage.”
DHS also wants the states to use the funds to create a central “verification hub that will enable states to query federal and non-federal document-issuing authorities and verify applicant source documents.” “Verification hub” is DHS’s latest euphemism for the national identification system it seeks to create by linking the motor vehicle databases of all 56 states and territories, which the agency hopes will contain data on all 240 million driver’s license and cardholders nationwide.
Read IDP’s comments on the draft regulations here (pdf). Our privacy and civil liberty arguments remain even with the final regulations. No national identification system should ever be created, whether under REAL ID or any other scheme.