U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials are meeting this afternoon with legislative leaders to discuss REAL ID regulations.
The afternoon meeting is closed to the public, a move disconcerting to some state lawmakers who have resisted implementing the more secure form of identification as a result of a federal law passed a decade ago. However, the Legislature in 2009 passed a law blocking the state’s Department of Public Safety from implementing REAL ID standards, citing concerns over privacy and cost.
Although Minnesota was initially among 47 states that refused to adopt REAL ID, most have come around and cut deals with the federal government to adopt REAL ID. Minnesota is now among four outliers, including New York, New Hampshire and Louisiana. Federal officials have warned that although no REAL ID standards will be enforced before January 2016, it could mean that sometime in the future, Minnesota’s state-issued identification may not be enough to get residents on a plane for domestic flights, or inside some federal buildings.
Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, was among the lawmakers spearheading the drive to resist REAL ID. He said in the ensuing years, he’s learned little about REAL ID and is concerned about a lack of uniformity among the states that have accepted REAL ID. He said the public should have access to Tuesday’s meeting.
“If you’re creating a driver’s license that might have the capability of holding the most intimate medical records of your personal life, perhaps the capability to record your transactions or maybe your location through GPS monitoring, don’t you think the public should know?” he said.
The meeting will be attended by House and Senate majority and minority leadership and chairs of related policy committees including Public Safety, Judiciary, Transportation and Civil Law and Data Practices.