Real ID regulations moving slowly, two governors say

State leaders are reminding federal agencies that the clock is ticking on standardized, secure driver’s license programs.

Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons pressed the Office of Management and Budget director in a letter sent Sept. 12 to release regulations for the Real ID Act of 2005 and to “provide the significant investment necessary to meet the requirements of the federal mandate.”

The federal law requires state governments to issue standardized driver’s licenses and identification cards to their residents. Regulations for the program are scheduled to be released later this year.

The Homeland Security Department’s last update to the program came in mid-July, when it released an implementation plan that included staffing configurations and goals for the next year.

DHS estimates the 10-year implementation cost for all states could reach $14 billion, with about $1 billion in upfront fees.

The department plans to issue $34 million in grants over the next year to help states implement the program. However, the governors were not happy with using grants for Real ID.

“States should not have to choose between our first responders and our motor vehicle operations when obligating funds from this ever-shrinking funding source,” the governors stated in the letter.

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