PRESS RELEASE
from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
March 15, 2007
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes files Concurrent Resolution opposing federal Real ID Act

AUSTIN - Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed Senate Concurrent Resolution 40 opposing the federal Real ID Act of 2005.

"While I support efforts to enhance our national security, it should not come at the loss of state sovereignty and the undue burden on our citizens," said Estes. "Texas has one of the best state identification systems in the nation to promote security, and setting aside that system for a national identification card with virtually no financial assistance from Washington is unacceptable."

The Real ID Act of 2005 requires every state to follow national standards in verifying the identity and citizenship of persons holding a drivers license or other state issued ID, and creates a national database of Real ID holders. Implementing the Real ID is estimated to cost up to $11 billion with the federal government only providing $40 million to assist the states. The cost to the Texas alone is anticipated at $572 million over the next five years.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that all states must comply with the Real ID Act by December 2009.

"In the next two years, as many as 12 million Texans will have to report to DPS drivers license offices all across the state to convert their current drivers license or other state issued ID card to the new national Real ID," said Estes.

To acquire a Real ID each citizen regardless of age or disability will have to present documentation proving their citizenship status and current residency, such as a birth certificate, social security card, and other proof of residency.

After December 2009, the federal government will not accept any state identification that is not a Real ID, which could result in being denied access to commercial airplanes and federal buildings, to conduct business at certain financial institutions, and applying for federal aid.

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