New Hampshire Refuses To Back Real ID

At least we're seeing some sanity from the New Hampshire legislature from time to time. The latest bit of sanity was the New Hampshire House vote to ban the state from participating in the federal Real ID program.

Calling the federal Real ID Act "repugnant" to the state and federal constitutions, New Hampshire lawmakers have voted to join other states in rejecting the federal Real ID Act as tantamount to requiring a national ID card.

The House voted Thursday to send a bill to Gov. John Lynch that would bar the state from complying with the federal law, which sets standards for state-issued driver's licenses. Lynch's spokesman said Friday the governor will sign it.

Real ID opponents said the state needed to send a clear statement that the federal government went too far in threatening individual privacy.

The first time this kind of legislation was filed it was tabled, but this time around the Legislature had a better idea of what Real ID would cost to implement and maintain and wanted nothing to do with it. Even with a $3 million federal grant for startup costs, it would have cost New Hampshire an additional $10 million per year to maintain the system.

One of the biggest fears expressed by opponents was that the federal driver license database would become “a target for thieves looking to steal identities.”

Real ID was a bad idea. Maybe Washington will finally come to realize it and Congress will do something about it.

I'm not going to hold my breath.

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