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Department of Homeland Security to Conduct Town Hall Meeting May 1 on The Federal Real ID Act

April 26, 2007 By

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will conduct a national Town Hall meeting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2007 on the federal REAL ID Act, at Freeborn Hall on the campus of the University of California, Davis. The meeting is being facilitated by the state Department of Motor Vehicles at DHS' request, and is scheduled to be the nation's only open meeting on REAL ID.

The forum is designed to seek input from a wide range public and private constituencies from California and other states on issues and perspectives as they relate to the proposed REAL ID regulations, in particular California's motoring public, who are most impacted by the Act's licensing requirements.

The Act, as proposed, would require every California driver license and identification card holder to appear in a DMV field office in person to be recertified. Individuals would be required to bring documents including a certified birth certificate, an unexpired U.S. passport, proof of social security numbers and proof of address documents. California DMV has raised numerous questions about the proposed regulations, which can be found at Additional information on the REAL ID Act can be found on the Department of Homeland Security Web site at [Docket ID number: DHS-2006-0030-0001].

"This event will allow us to look at REAL ID with fresh eyes and suggest a strategic approach toward implementation," said DMV Director George Valverde. "Most recently, we asked the federal government to take a second look at the proposed regulations respective to recertification and electronic verification."

Following introductory remarks by Director Valverde and Dr. Richard Barth, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security, public comment will be taken in five specific areas: Consumer/Personal Impact; Privacy/Security; Electronic Verification Systems; Funding/Implementation/Time Frames and Cost; and Law Enforcement.

Director Valverde noted that while California sees merit in the intent of the REAL ID Act, the proposed regulations raise numerous concerns relative to timing, security and privacy, verification systems and costs. "We want DHS to consider the most effective approach so that California can comply with the law while ensuring the utmost safety of our citizens. We look forward to working with DHS to ensure California's concerns are addressed and to reach a positive resolution that is suitable to all parties."

The Department of Homeland Security officially released the proposed REAL ID regulations on March 9, 2007, which began a 60-day public comment period that concludes on May 8. Final regulations could be released at any time after August of this year.

The REAL ID Act, signed by President Bush in 2005, sets national standards for driver's licenses and identification cards and is scheduled to take effect May 11, 2008.

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