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california legislation > sb 60



REPLACE - 09/11/2007

SENATE THIRD READING
SB 60 (Cedillo)
As Amended August 31, 2007
Majority vote

SENATE VOTE :24-15

TRANSPORTATION 12-0 APPROPRIATIONS 9-6
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|Ayes:|Nava, Duvall, Carter, |Ayes:|Leno, Caballero, Davis, |
| |DeSaulnier, Galgiani, | |DeSaulnier, Huffman, |
| |Houston, Huff, Coto, | |Karnette, Krekorian, Ma, |
| |Portantino, Ruskin, | |De Leon |
| |Solorio, Soto | | |
| | | | |
|-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
| | |Nays:|Walters, Emmerson, La |
| | | |Malfa, Lieu, Nakanishi, |
| | | |Sharon Runner |
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SUMMARY : Requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue driver's licenses that are compliant with the federal Real ID Act within a specified timeframe. Specifically, this bill :

1) Declares legislative intent to meet or exceed the standards of the federal Real ID Act of 2005 regarding driver's licenses and identification (ID) cards, including those licenses authorized by federal law that permit driving, but cannot be used for federal ID purposes.

2) Requires driver's licenses and ID cards issued by DMV to be in compliance with Section 202 of Title II of the federal Real ID Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-13).

3) Requires DMV, no later than 240 days after the federal Secretary of Homeland Security approves the state's implementation plan of the federal Real ID Act, to issue to applicants who meet the required standards, driver's licenses that permit driving and are acceptable by a federal agency for any official purpose.

4) Requires DMV, within the same timeframe, to issue driver's licenses that permit driving, but are not acceptable for federal ID or for any other official federal purposes, to those applicants who do not meet the full licensure requirements of the federal Real ID Act.

5) Prohibits a peace officer from detaining or arresting a person solely on the belief that the person is an unlicensed driver, unless the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person driving is under 16 years of age.

6) Specifies that the inability to obtain a driver's license does not abrogate or diminish in any respect the legal requirement of a driver in this state to obey the motor vehicle laws of this state, including laws with respect to licensing, motor vehicle registration, and financial responsibility.

7) Makes provisions #5) and 6) above effective upon the receipt by the Secretary of State of a notice from DMV that it is issuing federal Real ID Act-compliant driver's licenses.

8) Repeals, at that same time, an existing statute that makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly assist in obtaining a driver's license or ID card for a person whose presence in the United States (U.S.) is not authorized under federal law.

9) Specifies that such repeal may not be construed to forgive or legalize previously prohibited conduct that was committed prior to the repeal date.

10) Makes it a misdemeanor, as of the repeal date specified above, to knowingly assist in obtaining a driver's license, ID card, or any other document for another person in violation of
the federal Real ID Act.

EXISTING LAW :

1) Requires applicants for driver's licenses and ID cards to provide their Social Security numbers (SSNs) and proof of their legal presence to DMV.

2) Requires DMV to verify the legal presence of driver's license applicants. Pending that verification, DMV may issue a temporary license.

FISCAL EFFECT :   According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, this bill is expected to encourage the estimated 2.2 million undocumented immigrants of driving age in California to apply for a driver's license or ID card. DMV estimates approximately two million additional applications in the first 18 months following implementation. DMV estimates costs to process new  undocumented immigrant applications to be $80-$107 million over three years, with offsetting fee revenue gain of up to $55 million.

Require all existing license holders to visit a DMV field office to apply for a federal Real ID compliant driver's license. DMV would have to suspend its renewal-by-mail and renewal-by-Internet programs for good drivers who normally would not have to visit a field office for 15 years. Currently, approximately 2.8 million persons apply for an original or renewal driver's license in person. This bill would result in an additional annual workload of two million customers over five years following implementation. DMV estimates costs to re-certify all current drivers and new applicants to be over $500 million over five years, with offsetting fee revenue gains of a similar magnitude.

DMV indicates that much of the up-front costs include $13 million for a minimum of 10 new facilities, each with two-year leases of $1.3 million, significant computer programming, and
hiring and training over 600 new staff to handle the increased workload, all of which must be in place prior to implementation and cannot be financed with application fees. DMV would require
a multi-million dollar appropriation to implement this bill.

COMMENTS : Since 2005, all states have been on notice that they must comply with the federal Real ID Act in order for the licenses and ID cards that they issue are to be accepted as identification for federal purposes, such as boarding an aircraft or entering a federal building. According to DMV, "All states must begin issuing federally compliant identification documents no later than May 11, 2008. California's full compliance with the federal Real ID Act would require changes to existing statutes that govern the requirements for and issuance of driver licenses, identification cards, and the production of the cards. Additionally, the federal Real ID Act will require a rulemaking process, the result of which will be a set of regulations identifying additional provisions which state driver licenses, identification cards and issuance processes and
procedures must comply."

DMV has identified the following requirements in the federal Real ID Act as necessitating modification to the statutes governing the issuance of driver's licenses and ID cards. (Once
final implementing regulations are adopted by the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), additional changes will likely be identified.):

1) Requiring documentation showing the licensee's name and address of principal residence.

2) Employing technology to capture digital images of identify source documents so the images can be retained in electronic storage in a transferable format for 10 years.

3) Refusing to issue a driver license or ID card to a person holding a driver's license issued by another state.

4) Including physical security features on driver's licenses and ID cards designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes and to
provide a common machine-readable technology with defined minimum data elements.

5) Limiting the validity of all driver's licenses and ID cards that are not issued on a temporary basis to a period that does not exceed eight years.

6) Limiting the validity of a federal Real ID Act-compliant driver's license or ID card to the period of time of an immigrant or non-immigrant alien's authorized stay in the U.S. or, if there is no definite end to the period of authorized stay, for a period of one year.

Draft federal regulations recently released by DHS include provisions permitting states that are making a good faith effort to implement the federal Real ID Act, but that cannot reasonably comply by the May 2008 deadline, to request a delay not to extend beyond January 1, 2010. In DMV's opinion, "Even if California were to decide to request some period of delay,

DHS would expect to see that reasonable steps had been taken by the state to move toward compliance."

While the federal Real ID Act presents a very compelling incentive to achieve nationwide compliance (i.e., its insistence that driver's licenses issued after next May are not good for federal identification purposes unless they are "federal Real ID compliant") the federal Real ID Act and
California's efforts to achieve compliance raise a number of substantial and troubling issues.

Cost: DMV's preliminary analysis has already identified implementation costs of at least one-half billion dollars, little or none of which is anticipated to be reimbursed by the federal government.

Privacy: The American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes this bill for a number of reasons, contends that implementation of the federal Real ID Act poses serious privacy concerns.
"federal Real ID will make drivers' license information accessible from tens of thousands of locations across the country?Requiring the machine-readable elements of the drivers' license to be standardized enables the private sector to collect and save this information. Bars swiping licenses to collect personal data on customers will be just the tip of the iceberg as every convenience store learns to grab that data and sell it to data aggregators like Choice Point. This data will become part of existing private sector databases not subject even to the limited privacy rules in effect for the government. It is not clear how federal regulations will impact existing
California state law protecting drivers' license data."

Customer convenience: Draft federal regulations call for all license applicants, both for original and renewal licenses, as of May 2008, to produce for DMV documents that verify their identity (most typically a birth certificate). It is even possible that licensees who comply with this requirement will have to re-verify their identities on a periodic basis as a condition of subsequent renewals.) Under current law, licensees with good driving records may renew their license by mail for two consecutive five-year periods, essentially requiring them to renew in person only once every 15 years. Should California comply with the federal Real ID Act as its implementation is presently envisioned, all current licensees will have to visit DMV offices at
 
least  the first time their license expires after May 2008 in order to present this documentation. As a practical matter, this will not only inconvenience a large number of licensees, but it also threatens to overwhelm already stressed DMV field offices.

Security: The overriding rationale for the federal Real ID Act and its attendant costs and inconvenience is to make the driver's license a more reliable document with which to
establish a person's true identity and thus to raise the level of domestic security in an age of terrorism and identity theft.  Some observers have questioned whether the federal Real ID Act
truly achieves that goal. In this vein, it has been noted that, had the federal Real ID been in effect and successfully implemented in the 1990's, Timothy McVeigh and many of the 9-11 hijackers would still have been able to lawfully obtain driver's licenses under the federal Real ID Act's requirements.

Timing: As mentioned above, California may be able to request a 20-month delay from the May 2008 federal Real ID Act implementation deadline. Not only would such a delay put off the necessity of spending hundreds of millions of dollars and inconveniencing millions of driver's license renewal applicants, it would also allow additional time for Congress and the President to consider modifying or eliminating some of the federal Real ID Act's more onerous or less well-thought-out provisions. It would also give more time for momentum to build for the incipient "rebellion" that seems to be forming among various states that are refusing to cede their authority to devise licensing systems that make sense to them, rather than to the federal government.

Other states: It is interesting to note that several states have resolved, or are considering resolutions or other actions, telling the federal government that they do not intend to implement the federal Real ID Act. According to a recent report in the New York Times, "Maine legislators started off the rebellion late last month by passing a nonbinding resolution that rejected the law, called the federal Real ID Act, which Congress passed in 2005. They said that it would cost the state $185 million to put into place and that instead of making Maine's residents more secure, it would leave them more vulnerable to identity theft. Since then, legislatures in five states, Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Washington and Wyoming, have voted in committee or on the floor of one chamber to move similar legislation ahead. The bill adopted in a 99-to-1 vote by the Montana House of Representatives would go furthest, ordering state officials there to ignore the federal law."

Should this movement take hold, which it certainly could if a bellwether state such as California were to follow suit, the possibility of federal Real ID Act reform, if not repeal, would loom large. In that light, this bill could be considered to be premature.

 

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) recently signed legislation that bans that state's Motor Vehicle Division from enforcing the national rules, which set uniform security features for driver's licenses and require states to verify the identity of all drivers' license applicants.

 

Washington Governor Christine Gregoire (D) subsequently, signed a bill barring that state from complying unless the federal government comes up with an extra $250 million to cover the
state's expenses. The law also gives Washington's attorney general the right to challenge federal Real ID in court.

Montana's Schweitzer complained that the federal Real ID law is another way for the federal government to stomp on residents' personal privacy. "Montanans don't want the federal agents
listening to their phone conversations, rifling through their papers, checking on what books they read and monitoring where they go and when. We think they ought to mind their own business," he said in a written statement.

Governor Gregoire in a statement said the federal Real ID Act "Is another unfunded mandate from the federal government and, even worse, it doesn't protect the privacy of the citizens of
Washington."

In all, 30 states have passed or are considering proposals condemning the license standards. State lawmakers have railed at the costs and deadlines imposed on states, at federal intrusion into what had been a state responsibility and the specter of a national ID card. But the Montana and Washington actions stand out as the first statutes to bar state agencies from participating in federal Real ID, which passed Congress without floor debate, attached to a 2005 bill funding the war in Iraq and international aid after the Asian tsunami.

Legislatures in Idaho and Maine have passed nonbinding measures protesting the 2005 federal ID Act. Arkansas lawmakers have approved one resolution calling for Congress to repeal the act
and another that asks for civil-liberty protections and full funding to meet the estimated $14 billion cost to states. None of those measures carries the weight of law or required a governor's signature.

Related legislation: AB 1433 (Huff) seeks to conform California's licensing procedures to the federal Real ID Act but makes no provision for issuing licenses to persons without documentation of legal presence in the US. In April 2007, AB 1433 failed passage in the Assembly Transportation Committee by a vote of 5-9.


Analysis Prepared by : Howard Posner / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093
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