A West Virginia bill to nullify the Real ID Act was reintroduced recently by a group of lawmakers this month

Originally introduced in March of 2013, HB2871 cites the threat to security, inconvenience and expense to the citizens of West Virginia, as well as declaring its adoption being in “violation of the principles of federalism contained in the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution”.

The legislation bars the state from implementing provisions of the Real ID Act.

“The State of West Virginia will not participate in the mandatory implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005 insofar as it requires the establishment of national standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and nondriver identification cards. The Department of Transportation, including the Division of Motor Vehicles, is directed to cease mandatory implementation of the provisions of the REAL ID Act of 2005 insofar as it requires the establishment of national standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and nondriver identification cards and to report to the Governor any attempt by agencies or agents of the United States Department of Homeland Security to secure the implementation of that portion of the REAL ID.”

Passed under the Bush Administration in 2005 in the years following the September 11th attacks, the Real ID Act essentially creates a standardized national ID system. It places many standard on states to comply with instead of allowing them to create their own. To many privacy advocates it erodes state sovereignty, and creates privacy concerns. Many state have also balked at the cost of implementing the system. More importantly, the federal government was not delegated authority to create a national ID system.

Although the bill was passed nearly nine yeas ago, it has never been fully implemented because so many states simply refused.

Should the bill pass into law, West Virginia will join approximately 24 other states who have refused to comply, including most recently their neighbor to the west. In December of 2013 Ohio announced they were pulling their compliance. The most interesting conclusion about this nullification law is that State Republican lawmakers are nullifying bad laws passed by federal Republican lawmakers.


In West Virginia: Contact your representative and urge him or her to support HB2871. You can find legislator contact information HERE.

Outside West Virginia: Encourage your state lawmakers to refuse Real ID implementation as well.

The 10th Amendment

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