TBK Response to Bevin on REAL ID

Published on 28 March 2016 by in News


Governor Bevin’s video response to the citizens of Kentucky over their concerns about REAL ID had so many fallacies in it, it was hard to know where to begin and when to end. However, the five points below should be enough to take down the tractor-trailer-sized holes in his logic about REAL ID.

1) Information is available to all other state DMV’s across the country. Governor said information is not available even to state police.

Evidence showing database linking is required follows:

The Real ID Act requires a state to provide direct electronic access through the linking of state DMV databases to information held in a state’s Department of Motor Vehicle databases to all other states. http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/real-id-act-of-2005.aspx (Linking of Databases §202(d) (12) – scroll down the page to read-linking of Databases §202(d) (12) “(12) Provide electronic access to all other States to information contained in the motor vehicle database of the State.

On page 19 of SB 245, it is stated the information will be shareable between other states, the federal government, national and regional associations, as well as businesses.

2) Real ID actually permits states to issue driver’s licenses to those who have entered our country illegally. Those licenses are marked “Not for Federal Purposes,” so in essence the federal law drives the state policy. The Governor said Real ID prevents people in our country illegally from being issued driver’s licenses.

DHS anticipates that States will offer an alternative DL/ID (not acceptable for official purposes) to those who are unwilling or unable to obtain a compliant one. A number of States issue or plan to issue licenses to individuals that cannot document lawful status. Other States are expected to allow individuals to hold both a driver’s license and identification card. Finally, a number of States have evaluated or expressed interest in offering REAL IDs as an additional, voluntary license. This Regulatory Evaluation assumes that States will deploy a two-tier or multi-tier licensing system. States instead may choose to issue only REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, thereby reducing their operational and system costs.”

Download DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Real ID Act of 2005 Final Rules Part 1 and 2 Document

Also critically important to understanding that Real ID does allow states that are compliant to issue driver’s licenses to people in our country illegally, read the following information provided by this link: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/immigration/221914-drivers-licenses-for-illegal-immigrants-an-issues-in-three

On page 23 of SB 245, the federal list of immigration status language is copied in to Kentucky. Most states have blanket language clarifying that anyone not on this list can get the state card that does not meet federal guidelines.

3) The Governor says people in Kentucky will have a choice.

The concept of a two tier system where both a compliant license and non-compliant license is offered is a false choice. Regardless of which a person chooses, their personal information is at risk. Real ID requires the information of both the people who choose a compliant license, and those that do not, and is accessible by all DMV’s in other states.

Two states that are already in material compliance have had a breach of their respective DMV databases within the last two years by DMV employees in their states. http://www.kshb.com/news/crime/over-30-arrested-charged-in-joco-bribery-scheme-involving-dmv-employee-issuing-fraudulent-ids and http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/04/10/dmv-employee-arrested-for-license-fraud/. Kansas and Florida had at least one DMV employee that was knowingly accepting fraudulent breeder documents and issuing authentic driver’s licenses for months and possibly longer. In both cases, the motivator was financial greed. Both the compliant and non-compliant licenses capture an individual’s facial biometric. The Real ID Act requires a state to provide direct electronic access of information held in a state’s Department of Motor Vehicle databases to all other states. (as noted above, and in SB 245 on page 19.

4) Governor said there is “nothing to be concerned about.”

Both Republicans and Democrats should oppose the Real ID Act because of the power/authority given to the Secretary of DHS. The Secretary of DHS can at his or her discretion add to the Official Purposes for which a Real ID compliant license will be needed. Once, or if, all states become compliant, everyone should expect that there will be additional Official Purposes besides the current Official Purposes (accessing federal facilities, entering a nuclear plant, and boarding a commercial airliner). Once the trap door is shut and all states are in, the Secretary can add purchasing a weapon and/or ammunition, using public transportation such as a bus or train, or any other purpose the Secretary deems fit. The Secretary of DHS is not required to consult with Congress before adding to the list of Official Purposes. Download DHS (department of homeland security) Real ID Act of 2005 Final Rules Part 1 and 2 Document 

(Page 37 – second paragraph)

“DHS agrees with those commenters who noted that the proposed definition of ‘official purpose’ is consistent with Congressional intent. DHS is neither expanding nor limiting the definition further in this rule. DHS will continue to consider additional ways in which a REAL ID license can or should be used and will implement any changes to the definition of ‘official purpose’ or determinations regarding additional uses for REAL ID consistent with applicable laws and regulatory requirements. DHS does not agree that it must seek the approval of Congress as a prerequisite to changing the definition in the future (except of course to remove one of the three statutorily-mandated official purposes) as Sec. 201(3) of the Act gives discretion to the Secretary of Homeland Security to determine other purposes.”

Keep in mind that the Secretary of DHS can require the sellers of weapons and/or ammunition to maintain the information on the front of the driver’s license for DHS inspection, just as airlines maintain that information of flyers.

5) Governor says Kentucky must pass SB245 this year because Kentucky’s extension from DHS expires in October 2016.

There is a reason that the Secretary of DHS changed the enforcement date for an individual being able to board a commercial airliner to January 2018. Texas and Montana are not in material compliance, but their legislatures are only in session during odd-numbered years. Neither Texas nor Montana is going to be able to do anything this year (2016). Montana has more benchmarks to meet than Kentucky does. This explains why DHS stated that as long a state has submitted a compliance package by January 2018, the state will be given until October 2020 to become compliant.

The bottom line is there is no reason for Kentucky to do anything this year. Kentucky’s current extension does expires in October 2016. It is important to know that in states that have not received an extension such as Minnesota and New Mexico, there has been no punitive action taken. The residents are still able to go on military installations and fly using their current driver’s licenses. Extension or no extension, there will be no action taken by DHS before January 2018.


There is currently legislation in Congress to repeal the Real ID Act. Kentucky can wait until next year if they needed to before passing legislation such as SB245. The fact is, as the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee said, “We are tired of dealing with Real ID and the continuing extensions by DHS; we just want to get it behind us.” If legislators and the Governor are tired of protecting the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, they should resign their office.

Biometrics Bonus: Governor Bevin claimed there will be no biometric collection with the implementation of REAL ID. This claim is most likely due to a woefully ignorant understanding of what biometrics are, and that is fine if you are a regular citizen on the street, but when you are the Governor of Kentucky trying to sell citizens on a program, you had better understand what you are talking about.

The biometric of choice for a REAL ID compliant driver’s license is facial recognition. According to the “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (March 2007), section 3 “Digital Photograph”, footnote (17) states, “The relevant ICAO standard is ICAO 9303 Part 1 Vol 2, specifically ISO/IEC 19794-5 – Information technology – Biometric data interchange formats- Part 5: Face image data, which is incorporated into ICAO 9303.” Here is the most updated edition of ICAO 9303: http://www.icao.int/publications/Documents/9303_p9_cons_en.pdf

There are a few things one has to understand: 1) ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) is a UN-affiliated organization, and 2) ICAO and AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators), are both international in scope and were a part of the NPRM process with DHS. They are essentially in charge of setting the regulations for REAL ID and they have included biometrics.

So how do facial-recognition-compatible biometrics differ from a regular picture? As above in the ICAO standards, facial biometeric data is mined off of high-resolution digital photographs and mapped with a mathematical algorithm that can be read by facial recognition software (ever noticed we used to submit 2 photographs for passports, and now they only need 1? Twenty years ago, they only used photo ID. Today, they are moving everyone to biometric ID). This is more than simply person-to-person identification but computer-to-person identification, which lends itself as a useful tool in tracking people from a distance or without their knowledge.

Keep in mind DHS has the authority at any time to add more requirements upon the states regarding REAL ID, and according to the ICAO document above the next two likely biometric elements to be added once everyone becomes accustomed to facial biometrics is fingerprint and iris scans.
The claim by the Governor that biometrics is not in REAL ID can easily be refuted not just by the information above, but by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Their FAQ section points out facial biometrics are included in REAL ID http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/real-id-is-for-real.aspx#2.

Call 1-800-372-7181 and tell your Representative to Oppose SB 245/REAL ID 



3 Responses to “TBK Response to Bevin on REAL ID”

  1. Jeannine Smith says:

    REAL ID compliance: State’s rights are being imploded and will result in a World Identification Card. We are the United States of America. Keep the US out of the UN.

  2. DAVID fLETCHER says:

    I SHARE YOUR CONCERN ABOUT This is opening up the wrong doors to an invasion into my castle and liberty. I rejects the governor’s explanation! I rejection Real Id on Religions and constructional grounds !

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