DHS recently announced $79 million in grants to states for REAL ID implementation. DHS said it “awarded $17 million to Missouri to lead the development of the verification hub. Four other states – Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin – will each receive $1.2 million to partner with Missouri for verification hub testing and implementation.”
Homeland Security Today investigated the details of the grants, and it’s clear that AAMVA is the big winner. The site reveals, “The breakdown of awards, obtained by HSToday.us, signifies that AAMVA effectively gains a no-bid contract under the awards, as DHS designates it the sole national centralized database of driver’s license information under REAL ID through a grant award to the state of Missouri.” (emphasis ours).
DHS sources told Homeland Security Today, “A competitive grant process could have resulted in multiple hub awards instead of a sole-source contract to AAMVA, sources argue, decentralizing REAL ID information somewhat and encouraging the rise of the most effective database solution between competing vendors.”
It is not surprising that DHS would ensure there would be a single database system. Currently, the states all have their own databases. The point of the REAL ID national identification system is to meld the information from 56 states and territories and create a single database filled with the personal data of all 240 million license and ID cardholders nationwide.