As states move forward with more secure driver’s license issuing standards, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff on Dec. 16, 2008, released $48,575,000 to all 56 U.S. jurisdiction Motor Vehicle Departments. A total of $100 million was made available by Congress in the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009. The remaining dollars are set aside for competitive grants “that improve state capabilities consistent with the requirements of the REAL ID rule” submitted via www.grants.gov no later than Feb. 27, 2009. The grants of this week are to set an equitable baseline for all states for movement towards REAL ID compliance.
Lawful status. By way of example, 26 more states check the lawful status of driver’s license applicants than did so a year and a half ago. Oregon just made its announcement this week that on January 1, 2009, it will begin checking the federal SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) database and only issue driver’s licenses to those persons who are verified; those that are not verified will only be issued temporary licenses. This change is a result of an Oregon law passed this year to shore up driver’s license and ID requirements, and officials expect the new procedures to affect about three percent of Oregon’s driver’s license applicants.
Another state may be on board soon: Maryland just this week asked its legislature to reverse its long standing policy of permitting illegal immigrants driver’s licenses. State officials did so after noticing a surge in fraud and burdens on its education and health systems ever since it became the only state on the East Coast that tolerates out-of-state, even out-of-country, demands for its driver’s licenses.
Electronic Vital Records. In addition, 11 states have digitized their vital records, as has New York City (negotiations continue with the rest of the state to bring their 5,000-plus issuing authorities online as well), and Kansas is on its way. In March 2007, only three states had completed the vital record digitization projects. States are also tightening up their document requirements, such as Florida, now requiring identity documentation to be unexpired and valid, and no longer permitting oral declarations of social security numbers. (The chart below shows the marked improvement in state compliance and the grant allocations to date per state.)
This week’s announcement indicates Secretary Chertoff is feeling more than the holiday spirit; he clearly recognizes the continued momentum of the states towards REAL ID compliance, and wants to do what he can before his tenure is over. The grant monies –allocated simply based on the number of licenses a state issues – will enable states to keep moving forward while submitting requests for a competitive process for the remaining $50 million or so of the FY09 monies that remain in the Driver’s License Security Grant Program. The allocations are fair and practical, based on the consumer demand so many states are concerned about. Note that this year’s “Part I” grants are not competitive, as is the usual practice. Nor do states have to wait, or write proposals to get this money. DHS made it available, and that is that.
Secretary Chertoff has added a stocking stuffer to 56 US jurisdictions’ stockings this year. And considering how often “REAL ID funding” has been on the states’ list of demands for Washington, it might be suggested Secretary Chertoff donned a red and white cap for just a short stint this holiday season.
|Jurisdiction||CDLIS1 & NDR
Commercial DL and Nat’l Driver Registry (problem driver)
|Grant Allocation FY09 Part I ($48.575 mil)6|
|District of Columbia||Yes||Yes||Yes||$500,000||$600,000|
|Kansas||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (in progress)||$925,026||$755,987|
|N. Mariana Islands||0||$600,000|
|New York||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (NYC only)||$2,255,748||$1,648,250|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||$300,000||$600,000|
1 CDLIS-Commercial Driver’s License Information System administered by American Association of Motor Vehicle administrators (AAMVA), alongside the National Driver Registry.
2 SSOLV-Social Security On-Line Verification administered by the Social Security Administration.
3 SAVE-Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency of DHS. This column represents states that are either signed up or actively using SAVE.
4 EVVE-Electronic Verification of Vital Events administered by AAMVA developed by the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS).
5 In FY08, DHS awarded competitive grants with priority to states seeking to be the “hub” for ID verification networking among the states and with the federal government. This used a combined pool of 2005 and 2007 funding for the Driver’s License Security Grant Program created under the REAL ID law.
6 In FY09, DHS is conducting a two-part grant process for total of $100 million ($50 million more than the 2007 funding) allocated under the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009: (1) Part One are noncompetitive grants awarded December 16, 2008, based on the number of licenses issued in each jurisdiction; (2) Part Two of FY09 grant allocation will be a competitive process awarding to states for proposals “that improve state capabilities consistent with the requirements of the REAL ID rule.” These grant requests are due Feb. 27, 2009.
7 Yes= new since March 2007
8 Yes= new since March 2008
9 To receive a competitive grant from DHS in FY08, states had to submit a proposal stating how the funding would be used for REAL ID implementation. States that failed to submit a proposal did not receive funding.
10 Connectivity information was unavailable for American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marinara Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
11 Of this amount, $1.2 million is to partner with the lead hub state Mississippi for pilot implementation and verification testing.
12 Of this amount, $1.2 million is to partner with the lead hub State Mississippi for pilot implementation and verification testing.
13 *= states using EVVE for DMV checks; grant making in progress to rollout to all 50 states under REAL ID
14 In a separate grant for EVVE, Kentucky was awarded a $3 million pilot grant in December 2006. The purpose of the grant was to prepare for the nationwide deployment of electronic birth record verification.
15 Mississippi is the lead hub state for $17 million for verification hub requirements and development.
16 Of this amount, $1.2M is to partner with the lead hub State Mississippi for pilot implementation and verification testing.
17 Of this amount, $1.2M is to partner with the lead hub State Mississippi for pilot implementation and verification testing.