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States, rights groups concerned about burdens of Real ID Act

[JURIST] State officials and rights groups have voiced financial and privacy concerns over the Real ID Act [PDF tezt; UPI backgrounder], the controversial identity legislation passed last Thursday [JURIST report] in the US House of Representatives as a rider on an $82B emergency supplemental appropriations bill [PDF text] for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and headed for likely approval in the Senate [Red Herring report] later this week, perhaps even later today. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, vice chairman of the National Governors Association, says that governors are looking at their options in the face of an unfunded mandate requiring states to verify the multiple identifications to be required from applicants for state driver's licenses; other state officials suggest that a court challenge to the bill may even be in the offing. Virginia's motor vehicle department has estimated its own compliance costs at approximately $237 million. The act allows the Homeland Security secretary to grant money to states to help cover costs, but does not guarantee it do so. Meanwhile rights groups and citizens are objecting [UnRealID.com advocacy website] to the extra red tape, and extra time and extra governmental intrusiveness represented by the new regulations. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, the author of the act, believes that it must be passed to combat terrorism [press release]. AP has more.

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