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Checking in on Real ID

Sample California driver license

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: The Senate Judiciary Committee is checking ID today. It's holding a hearing on the Real ID Act which is designed to bring states in line with new federal standards. Even if you have a driver's license, it'll require that you get a new one if you want to use it to enter a federal building or travel on an airplane. But many states don't want to pay the costs, and Jeremy Hobson reports, they're not getting much help from the Feds.


JEREMY HOBSON: The cost of Real ID is estimated to be between $11 billion and $23 billion.

The money's needed for everything from screening Department of Motor Vehicles employees to printing new licenses, and the federal government has only given states $40 million to help them come into compliance.

Molly Ramsdell is with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

MOLLY RAMSDELL: We need to fix and fund it. But if we don't get the fix and fund by Dec. 31, then we will call for the repeal of it.

But a recent Zogby poll found that 70 percent of Americans want national standards for IDs.

Neil Berro is with the Coalition for a Secure Drivers License. He says safety and security should trump money issues and states should be willing to pay.

NEIL BERRO: But at the end of the day, if the feds have to pick up most if not all the tab, that's preferable to a slowdown in implementation.

The project is already slowing down. The White House has pushed back the deadline by 20 months.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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