The National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators released a report yesterday that estimated the five-year cost associated with implementing the REAL ID Act at $11 billion over five years. This estimate is broken down as follows:
- Re-enrollment of all drivers license & ID holders to meet guidelines: $8.48 billion
- New processes for verifying applicants: $1.42 billion
- Drivers license and ID design requirements: $1.11 billion
- Support costs: $0.04 billion
This analysis goes a couple of levels deeper in the report, providing a fairly rigorous assessment of the costs of REAL ID. And the report offers nine top-level recommendations:
- Extend the compliance deadline;
- Provide the funds necessary for states to comply with Real ID;
- Provide the federal electronic verification systems necessary to comply with the law;
- Require states to employ electronic verification systems only as they become available;
- Implement a 10 year re-enrollment schedule;
- Adopt uniform naming conventions to facilitate electronic verification between files;
- Allow reciprocity for persons already vetted by the federal government
- Establish card security criteria based on performanceâ€”not technology; and
- Grant the Secretary of Homeland Security the flexibility to recognize innovation at the state level.
I’ve written in the past that REAL ID is a bad idea, arguing that:
If Real ID is a â€œde factoâ€ national ID system, then itâ€™s one of the worst possible forms of one: itâ€™s not likely to deliver the potential security benefits of an integrated system; it doesnâ€™t save money via national-level economies of scale; it has no clear funding stream; and oversight on privacy issues will be difficult in a 50-state stakeholder environment.
This report supports my contention about the lack of national-level economies of scale in the REAL ID model compared with a national ID card.