Real IDIn 2005, the Republican-controlled Congress passed the “Real-ID Act” – which created national standards for driver’s license and identification cards. Opponents across the political spectrum have been resisting it for various reasons – it’s a privacy risk, is yet another unfunded mandate, and most importantly, the exercise of such federal power is not authorized by the constitution.

Starting in early 2007, states began passing both non-binding resolutions opposing the law, and binding legislation which nullified the act within the state borders. The latest to join resistance? Utah, and the current tally is 25.

House Bill 325 (HB325) has been signed by Governor Gary Herbert, and addresses the most glaring problems with the Real ID Act:

The Legislature finds that the United States Congress’ enactment of the REAL ID Act into law:

(a) is inimical to the security and well-being of the people of this state;
(b) will cause unneeded expense and inconvenience to the people of this state; and
(c) was adopted in violation of the principles of federalism contained in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Utah legislature passed House Resolution 4 (HR4) in 2009, which was a non-binding resolution making clear that the legislature opposed the law. Supporters of HB234 see it as a logical follow-up to the resolution passed last year.

The bill prohibits the State from complying with the law:

(3) (a) The state may not participate in the implementation of the REAL ID Act.
(b) The division:
(i) may not implement the provisions of the REAL ID Act; and
(ii) shall report to the governor any attempt by an agency or an agent of the United States Department of Homeland Security to secure the implementation of the REAL ID Act.

States were originally given until May 2008 to comply with the law, but widespread resistance resulted in the Federal Government changing that deadline not once, not twice, but three times.

“Trouble” – that’s what advocates of centralized government say about the law that has been effectively nullified by massive State-level resistance.

When more than two dozen states refuse to comply with yet another unfunded mandate from D.C. – that mandate may sit on the books, but it’s as good as repealed, even without going to the federal courts to oppose it.

And, while the centralizers would certainly like to see their plans revived – either in Real ID itself, or in its latest incarnation, TWIC – the bottom line remains the same…nullification works.

CLICK HERE – to view the Tenth Amendment Center’s Real ID nullification tracking page.

Michael Boldin