Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Statement on Commonwealth’s Slow-Moving Progress to Comply with the Federal REAL ID Act

This morning I released the following statement regarding a letter to Governor Deval Patrick from the Senate Republican Caucus seeking clarification as to why the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has not made significant effort to comply with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005.  The Act, which codifies the standards of state licenses and ids, was passed following a recommendation by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (“9/11 Commission”):

“Instead of being ahead of the curve, Governor Patrick and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has made little progress thus far in the federally mandated REAL ID Act.  With little movement, the Senate Republican Caucus has exceedingly high concerns as to the adverse effects of having an outdated, unrecognized state ID in the eyes of the Federal Government.  The Real ID Act is extremely clear that federal agencies cannot accept state IDs that don’t meet a certain minimum of standards, and if Massachusetts does not move expeditiously to be compliant with federal law, we fear that there will be major implications, such as citizens not being able to board commercial airplanes, until the Governor and his administration rectifies the situation.

We are now calling on the Governor to make clear the progress, if any, that has been made in achieving federal compliance while there is still time to avoid what could be a disastrous scenario for the citizens of the Commonwealth.  If the state is failing to stride towards compliance, we ask Governor Patrick to provide the reasons for that failure.  A state issued license is among the most utilized forms of identification, and the value of the Massachusetts license would be diminished greatly if this administration does not act accordingly.”


Posted below is the letter sent to Governor Patrick from the Senate Republican Caucus and a fact sheet.