The legislation behind a national ID

Federal regulations creating a uniform national ID card are looming. Read the full text of the relevant section of the law.

Real ID became law not through the usual legislative process, but instead as part of a mammoth Iraq spending and Asian tsunami bill, the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005."

The following is the full, unedited text of the relevant section of the law.

TITLE II--IMPROVED SECURITY FOR DRIVERS' LICENSES AND PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION CARDS

SEC. 201. DEFINITIONS

    In this title, the following definitions apply:

      (1) DRIVER'S LICENSE--The term "driver's license" means a motor vehicle operator's license, as defined in section 30301 of title 49, United States Code.

      (2) IDENTIFICATION CARD--The term "identification card" means a personal identification card, as defined in section 1028(d) of title 18, United States Code, issued by a State.

      (3) OFFICIAL PURPOSE--The term "official purpose" includes but is not limited to accessing Federal facilities, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, entering nuclear power plants, and any other purposes that the Secretary shall determine.

      (4) SECRETARY--The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Homeland Security.

      (5) STATE--The term "State" means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.

SEC. 202. MINIMUM DOCUMENT REQUIREMENTS AND ISSUANCE STANDARDS FOR FEDERAL RECOGNITION

    (a) Minimum Standards for Federal Use

      (1) IN GENERAL--Beginning 3 years after the date of the enactment of this division, a Federal agency may not accept, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting the requirements of this section.

      (2) STATE CERTIFICATIONS--The Secretary shall determine whether a State is meeting the requirements of this section based on certifications made by the State to the Secretary. Such certifications shall be made at such times and in such manner as the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, may prescribe by regulation.

    (b) Minimum Document Requirements--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall include, at a minimum, the following information and features on each driver's license and identification card issued to a person by the State:

      (1) The person's full legal name.

      (2) The person's date of birth.

      (3) The person's gender.

      (4) The person's driver's license or identification card number.

      (5) A digital photograph of the person.

      (6) The person's address of principle residence.

      (7) The person's signature.

      (8) Physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.

      (9) A common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements.

    (c) Minimum Issuance Standards.

      (1) IN GENERAL--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall require, at a minimum, presentation and verification of the following information before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person:

        (A) A photo identity document, except that a non-photo identity document is acceptable if it includes both the person's full legal name and date of birth.

        (B) Documentation showing the person's date of birth.

        (C) Proof of the person's social security account number or verification that the person is not eligible for a social security account number.

        (D) Documentation showing the person's name and address of principal residence.

      (2) SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

        (A) IN GENERAL--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall comply with the minimum standards of this paragraph.

        (B) EVIDENCE OF LAWFUL STATUS--A State shall require, before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person, valid documentary evidence that the person--

          (i) is a citizen or national of the United States;

          (ii) is an alien lawfully admitted for permanent or temporary residence in the United States;

          (iii) has conditional permanent resident status in the United States;

          (iv) has an approved application for asylum in the United States or has entered into the United States in refugee status;

          (v) has a valid, unexpired nonimmigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa status for entry into the United States;

          (vi) has a pending application for asylum in the United States;

          (vii) has a pending or approved application for temporary protected status in the United States;

          (viii) has approved deferred action status; or

          (ix) has a pending application for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or conditional permanent resident status in the United States.

        (C) TEMPORARY DRIVERS' LICENSES AND IDENTIFICATION CARDS

          (i) IN GENERAL--If a person presents evidence under any of clauses (v) through (ix) of subparagraph (B), the State may only issue a temporary driver's license or temporary identification card to the person.

          (ii) EXPIRATION DATE--A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall be valid only during the period of time of the applicant's authorized stay in the United States or, if there is no definite end to the period of authorized stay, a period of one year.

          (iii) DISPLAY OF EXPIRATION DATE--A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph shall clearly indicate that it is temporary and shall state the date on which it expires.

          (iv) RENEWAL--A temporary driver's license or temporary identification card issued pursuant to this subparagraph may be renewed only upon presentation of valid documentary evidence that the status by which the applicant qualified for the temporary driver's license or temporary identification card has been extended by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

      (3) VERIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall implement the following procedures:

        (A) Before issuing a driver's license or identification card to a person, the State shall verify, with the issuing agency, the issuance, validity, and completeness of each document required to be presented by the person under paragraph (1) or (2).

        (B) The State shall not accept any foreign document, other than an official passport, to satisfy a requirement of paragraph (1) or (2).

        (C) Not later than September 11, 2005, the State shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Secretary of Homeland Security to routinely utilize the automated system known as Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, as provided for by section 404 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (110 Stat. 3009-664), to verify the legal presence status of a person, other than a United States citizen, applying for a driver's license or identification card.

    (d) Other Requirements--To meet the requirements of this section, a State shall adopt the following practices in the issuance of drivers' licenses and identification cards:

      (1) Employ technology to capture digital images of identity source documents so that the images can be retained in electronic storage in a transferable format.

      (2) Retain paper copies of source documents for a minimum of 7 years or images of source documents presented for a minimum of 10 years.

      (3) Subject each person applying for a driver's license or identification card to mandatory facial image capture.

      (4) Establish an effective procedure to confirm or verify a renewing applicant's information.

      (5) Confirm with the Social Security Administration a social security account number presented by a person using the full social security account number. In the event that a social security account number is already registered to or associated with another person to which any State has issued a driver's license or identification card, the State shall resolve the discrepancy and take appropriate action.

      (6) Refuse to issue a driver's license or identification card to a person holding a driver's license issued by another State without confirmation that the person is terminating or has terminated the driver's license.

      (7) Ensure the physical security of locations where drivers' licenses and identification cards are produced and the security of document materials and papers from which drivers' licenses and identification cards are produced.

      (8) Subject all persons authorized to manufacture or produce drivers' licenses and identification cards to appropriate security clearance requirements.

      (9) Establish fraudulent document recognition training programs for appropriate employees engaged in the issuance of drivers' licenses and identification cards.

      (10) Limit the period of validity of all driver's licenses and identification cards that are not temporary to a period that does not exceed 8 years.

      (11) In any case in which the State issues a driver's license or identification card that does not satisfy the requirements of this section, ensure that such license or identification card:

        (A) clearly states on its face that it may not be accepted by any Federal agency for federal identification or any other official purpose; and

        (B) uses a unique design or color indicator to alert Federal agency and other law enforcement personnel that it may not be accepted for any such purpose.

      (12) Provide electronic access to all other States to information contained in the motor vehicle database of the State.

      (13) Maintain a State motor vehicle database that contains, at a minimum:

        (A) all data fields printed on drivers' licenses and identification cards issued by the State; and

        (B) motor vehicle drivers' histories, including motor vehicle violations, suspensions, and points on licenses.
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