Although REAL ID went nowhere, during the 2009 Legislature, this federally mandated and underfunded de facto national identification card was recently revived and enacted by Governor Gibbons through “emergency” regulation. Despite the ACLU of Nevada’s urging against the implementation of REAL ID on privacy and due process grounds, the Nevada DMV began temporarily issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and identification cards in the beginning of 2010.

Now, the fate of REAL ID in Nevada may be in the hands of the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations, whose responsibility it is to recommend which regulations, including “emergency” regulations like this one, should be made permanent.  The Subcommittee to Review Regulations will meet on Monday, April 19, 2010 at 2pm to discuss the fate of REAL ID in Nevada. 

Please help urge Nevada legislators to reject any permanent implementation of REAL ID in our state.  See below for the email addresses and names of legislators who should be contacted. 

Multiple civil liberties are undermined by these regulations:

  • REAL ID threatens Nevadans' privacy rights- According to the Final Rule on REAL ID, DHS continues to explore the creation of a centralized database for stored personal information, rather than just a “hub” for states to query information from another state.  There is no security plan for protecting this information; instead the federal government presumes that the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators will operate the database. However, this private association has no accountability to Nevada and it is not bound by either the Privacy Act, which applies to federal agencies, or the Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act, which applies to state DMVs.
  • REAL ID puts Nevadans' due process rights at risk- If REAL ID is fully implemented, a REAL ID-compliant identification card will be required to enter federal buildings, including courthouses.  Without a REAL ID card, a person’s due process rights, the right to trial before a jury of one’s peers, and the right to petition government officials could be significantly and detrimentally impacted.

  • REAL ID is a de facto national identification card- It doesn’t matter that an RFID chip is not embedded in the card itself-- DHS admitted in its Final Rule that it couldn’t prevent abuse by entities that might require REAL ID compliant cards for identification purposes beyond those listed as “official purposes” by DHS.  These regulations contain no protections for Nevadans that would prohibit this from happening. In fact, nothing prohibits a private business from remotely scanning machine-readable private information when you walk into a business, or from sharing that info with others.
  • REAL ID is underfunded federal mandate- The federal government has appropriated far less than will be required to implement REAL ID, leaving cash-strapped states like Nevada to shoulder the entire financial burden for a program with no true benefit for the American people.
  • REAL ID has been rejected across the US- Fifteen states will never issue REAL ID licenses because they have enacted binding legislation prohibiting participation in the program.  It is therefore premature to make any of these regulations permanent.
  • REAL ID, as put forward in Nevada, takes away the liberty of Nevadans to choose- Governor Gibbons took away the right of Nevadans to decide for themselves if they want a compliant ID when he mandated that the Nevada DMV would only issue REAL ID-compliant IDs (the Final Rule allows states to issue both compliant and non-compliant IDs). If REAL ID is going to be foisted upon Nevadans, this important privacy decision should be left up to individual Nevadans and DHS’ stipulations in its Final Rule should remain in place.

These and other remarks should be sent to the following legislators:

Subcommittee to Review Regulations;; ; ;;

Legislative Commission;;;;;;;;;;;