Victim privacy and the federal REAL ID law

Privacy and victim advocates are concerned about the ability of victims to keep their addresses private after the implementation the federal REAL ID law. It establishes standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and personal identification cards.

REAL ID compliant licenses and ID cards must meet minimum standards which include information and security features that must be incorporated into each card, proof of identity and U.S. citizenship or legal status of an applicant, verification of the source documents provided by an applicant, and security standards for the offices that issue licenses and identification cards.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says:

Although intended to limit terrorists’ access to state issued identification cards and driver’s licenses, REAL ID endangers thousands of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

REAL ID went into effect May 11, 2008, but almost all states have asked for an extension which is good through December 31, 2009. States that meet certain benchmarks for the security of their credentials and licensing processes will automatically be granted a second extension until May 11, 2011 to complete full implementation of REAL ID.

More information

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence on REAL ID
Department of Homeland Security on REAL ID
Privacy Advocates Resist Real ID Act
Electronic Privacy Information Center