Speak Out Against REAL ID
Stop REAL ID! Submit comments to the Dept. of Homeland Security by May 8th!
- UPDATE: DHS has released an e-mail address where you can submit REAL ID comments. The subject line must include the Docket No. DHS-2006-0030. Send your comments to email@example.com. Click here to open an e-mail window with the sample comments included.
- A broad coalition of organizations across the United States is urging the public to submit comments rejecting the illegal national identification system created under the Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID program.
- Five states and several members of Congress have rejected the scheme, which creates a massive national ID system without adequate security or privacy safeguards, which makes it more difficult and costly for people to get licenses, and which makes it easier for identity thieves to access the personal data of 245 million license and cardholders nationwide.
- To take action and submit comments against this fundamentally flawed national ID system, click here! Comments are due by 5pm EST on May 8, 2007.
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To take action and make your voice heard, submit comments against the fundamentally flawed national identification scheme. The draft regulations to implement the REAL ID Act are open for comment until 5:00 PM EST on May 8, 2007. The comments can be submitted in one of three ways:
- E-mail: Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include DHS-2006-0030 in the subject line.
- Online through the Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov (search for "DHS-2006-0030-0001" and follow the instructions for submitting comments);
- Fax to 1-866-466-5370. Your fax must state that you are submitting comments in response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking DHS-2006-0030.
- Postal Mail sent to Department of Homeland Security; Attn: NAC 1-12037; Washington, D.C. 20538. Your letter must state that you are submitting comments in response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking DHS-2006-0030.
Click here for sample comments you can print, sign and send in.
Portals for submitting comments:
American Civil Liberties Union
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Organizations have launched a nationwide campaign to engage the public in the debate over what would be the first national identification document. These transpartisan, nonpartisan, privacy, consumer, civil liberty, civil rights, and immigrant organizations have joined in this unique public education project because the REAL ID proposal put forth by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would harm our lives in a multitude of ways every day. The proposed regulations set requirements that states must follow to have their state issued identification documents accepted for federal purposes, like getting on an airplane or entering a government building, including courthouses.
The power of the Department of Homeland Security, along with other federal government agencies, to reach into the everyday lives of people living in this country will be unprecedented.
This is the same federal agency that had responsibility for helping people following Hurricane Katrina, and proved itself not to be ready for the challenge. Creating a national identification system is a huge, complex project and there no agency in the Federal government that has proven that it could manage a project of this magnitude.
What we do know: You will make more than one trip to the motor vehicle office to apply for your REAL ID national identification card; the government has estimated that the scheme will cost taxpayers $21 billion; REAL ID requires documentation that most people will have difficulty finding; and the cost of driver's licenses and state ID cards will skyrocket. We do know that the federal government is considering expanding the REAL ID card to everyday use.
Click for more background...
Maybe you could avoid getting on a plane or going into a government building, but you cannot avoid all of the ways licenses and ID cards are used. A national identification system would be disastrous. It would affect every aspect of your life-- being able to operate a motor vehicle, cash a check, get a job, register to vote, purchase a home, rent an apartment, get a hunting or fishing license, or enroll in school.
The new requirements dictate state collection of personal data and documents without setting adequate security standards for the card, state motor vehicle facilities, or state motor vehicle databases. The government will create a national identification database by linking the databases of all 50 states and the data of 245 million state license and identification cardholders. REAL ID also increases the risk of counterfeiting and identity theft by creating one unifying ID card (with one design) to forge and one database full of sensitive personal information, with many entry points across the nation, to attack. DHS also divert funds needed for other state homeland security projects, such as equipment for rescue and first responder personnel by regulating that 20% of a state's Homeland Security Grant Program money can be spent on REAL ID implementation.
License and ID card applicants will need to submit certified birth certificate, immigration and citizenship documents, and a variety of other sensitive data in order to get a REAL ID card.
Another problem not addressed by the REAL ID law is the obligation of states receiving queries about source documents: birth certificates, court records, and adoption papers to respond in a timely and accurate way. This is a tremendous burden for states to undertake and presents an additional hidden cost of the REAL ID that has not yet been considered.
The Department of Homeland Security has the sole power to determine what is and is not acceptable because the law that created the REAL ID was never debated or allowed a public hearing to create checks on the agency's power.
The national identification scheme created by REAL ID is a disaster waiting to happen. We urge you to take action and submit comments against the fundamentally flawed national identification scheme.
- American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
- American Library Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
- "There are serious privacy and security issues with the REAL ID Act," said Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect. "ALA has expressed deep concern about standardized machine-readable driver's licenses and national identification cards because of the potential privacy implications for library users, as well as the increased potential for identity theft for all individuals."
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Association of American Physicians & Surgeons
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Citizen Outreach Project
Citizens Against Government Waste
- Carol Khawly, Director of Legal Advocacy at ADC, states that "as a community, we fear that the REAL ID card will be used by different government agencies as well as private parties to profile individuals who look foreign or who have a foreign name."
Coalition Against Prosecutorial Abuse
Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Privacy Information Center
- "REAL ID raises the specter of George Orwell's 1984 the government controlling a central database of personal information, which could be used to monitor the comings and going of American citizens," said CAGW President Tom Schatz.
Fairfax County Privacy Council
Give Me Back My Rights Coalition
Government Accountability Project
Gun Owners of America
Immigrant Workers Union
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council of La Raza
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Immigration Law Center
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Patient Privacy Rights Foundation
People for the American Way
- "Make no mistake, this is a national identification system that will affect your everyday life," said Melissa Ngo, Director of EPIC's Identification and Surveillance Project. "Critics of the REAL ID scheme are called anti-security, but it is not anti-security to reject a national identification system that will harm our national security and make it easier for criminals to pretend to be law-abiding Americans."
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Republican Liberty Caucus
Rutherford Institute, The
The Arc of the United States United Cerebral Palsy
The Multiracial Activist
US Bill of Rights Foundation
Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Gun Owners Coalition
World Privacy Forum
- "The breadth and diversity of the opposition is a real testimony to how harmful Real ID is to so many different communities," said Deborah Pierce, Executive Director of PrivacyActivism.org and one of the founders of the Stop Real ID Now! activism campaign. "By getting people and groups who are usually excluded from the debate involved at the grassroots level, we can stop Real ID."
- "The Real ID Act of 2005 turns our state driver's licenses into a national ID card, costs over $20 billion dollars, infringes privacy, and imposes major burdens on taxpayers, anybody renewing a driver's license, seniors, immigrants, transgender people, and state governments - while doing nothing to protect against terrorism," said privacy activist Jon Pincus, one of the founders of the Stop Real ID Now! activism campaign. "This commenting process is a great chance for the American people to tell DHS and Congress the Real ID Act is a bad law that needs to be repealed."
More Groups Join Anti-National ID Campaign:
- America's Right to Privacy
- Arizona Citizens Defense League
- Asian American Justice Center
- Artist Activism Network
- Constitution Party of North Carolina
- Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN)
- Consumer Federation of California
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- The Loyal Nine
- Oklahoma Defense of Freedom Project
- South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow
- Young Democrats of America
Web Buzz About the Campaign
Blog Posts covering the campaign:
to see all blog posts about the campaign. 203 blogs currently support the REAL ID campaign!