U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka issued the following statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to grant a temporary deferment for REAL ID compliance for Hawaii and several dozen other states:
“I welcome the Department of Homeland Security’s common-sense decision that will ensure Hawaii residents with state-issued identifications and driver’s licenses will not be inconvenienced at airports next month. By extending the deadline for REAL ID compliance, DHS recognized the potential harm to Hawaii residents, who are uniquely dependent on commercial airlines for business and leisure travel. This decision will also prevent negative impact on Hawaii’s tourism industry, as all non-compliant states across the country have received a deferment. Federal agencies will continue to accept state drivers licenses and identification cards for boarding commercial airlines on the mainland and Hawaii.”
As Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Akaka held several hearings about REAL ID implementation that explored the tremendous financial burden it imposes on states and the serious privacy risks it creates.
Akaka introduced S. 1261, the Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009 (PASS ID Act), which was favorably reported by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the 111th Congress.
This bill would repeal Title II of the REAL ID Act and replace it with provisions that would add new protections for personally identifiable information used in the issuance of driver’s licenses and identification cards.
Additionally, it would set strong security standards for the issuance of identification cards and driver’s licenses while reducing costs and giving states flexibility in implementing the secure license and identification standards.