Where can a state find information of the REAL ID Act and regulations?
Links to the REAL ID statute and regulations may be found on the DHS website, as well as the relevant regulatory analysis and Privacy Impact Assessment.
Has DHS received my state’s submission?
As of May 31, 2013, DHS has received packages and status updates from 51 states and territories.
The only states and territories that have not submitted packages or status updates are: American Samoa, Arizona, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Pennsylvania.
When must a state submit their certification packages?
DHS will continue to receive and review state submissions on a rolling basis.
To what address do states need to send the hard copy certification packages?
All materials should be mailed to:
245 Murray Lane SW
Mail Stop 0460 NAC 17-02-208-03
Washington DC 20528
Besides the certification letters, the exception process, and security plan is there any additional documentation required by DHS?
While the regulation only requires states to submit the listed materials, states are encouraged, but are not required, to submit any additional information or documentation they feel would help DHS in its determination of compliance.
After a state submits its compliance package, when can it expect a determination of compliance?
DHS has 45 days to review a state’s submission and make a determination. Each state will be informed in writing of DHS’s determination.
When will DHS begin providing determinations for states that submit packages?
DHS will begin sending notifications of both Final and Preliminary Determination, as appropriate, in December 2012.
What happens if DHS determines that a state has not met the REAL ID requirements?
DHS will notify the state of any deficiencies and allow the state 30 days to respond to the preliminary determination. In addition, states may also request a meeting with DHS to resolve any discrepancies.
How does DHS factor the existence of a state law or policy restricting compliance with the REAL ID Act?
DHS does not factor state law or policy about compliance with the Act into its determinations.
What will happen to a state that DHS is not able to determine to be meeting the requirements of REAL ID by January 15, 2013?
Beginning January 15, 2013, states not found to meet the standards will receive a deferment that will allow Federal agencies to continue to accept their licenses and identification cards for boarding commercial aircraft and other official purposes so long as the deferment is active.
The deferment begins January 15, 2013 and will be in effect for at least six months. The exact end date, as well as the process for individual states to request continued deferments, will be part of an announcement detailing the schedule for phased enforcement of the Act.
What does deferment mean?
A deferment means that Federal agencies will accept for official purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not determined to meet all the standards if the state has an active deferment from the DHS.
What will happen to a state that chooses not to submit any documentation to DHS?
If a state does not submit information demonstrating progress in time for DHS to make a renewal finding, Federal agencies may be prohibited from accepting for official purposes its driver’s license and identification cards in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule once the initial deferment period expires.
Will DHS continues to grant deferments after the initial deferment expires?
After phased enforcement begins, states that continue to provide information and show progress will be in the best position to receive additional deferments.
What is adequate justification for not meeting the minimum security requirements?
A: In determining whether a state seeking additional deferments after the initial deferment expires an extension has adequate justification DHS will consider whether the state has made significant progress in meeting the requirements of the regulation, is committed to full implementation, and faces external factors that prevent full implementation, such as contractual obligations, procurement lifecycles, or the unavailability of appropriate technology.
Will the December 2014 and December 2017 enforcement deadlines remain in place?
DHS intends to undertake a comprehensive review of all enforcement requirements in the first half 2013.
Are Enhanced Driver’s Licenses acceptable for REAL ID compliance?
State Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) designated as acceptable border-crossing documents by DHS under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) are acceptable for official Federal purposes (i.e., boarding a commercial aircraft, accessing a federal facility, or entering a nuclear power plant).
However the existence of an EDL is not sufficient to consider the state to be in overall compliance for purpose of determining whether a Federal agency may accept a state’s regular driver’s license for official purposes. For example, a Federal agency could accept an EDL issued from a state but not be able to accept a standard driver’s license from that same state.
How can states meet the verification requirements of the REAL ID regulation when some of the electronic systems for data validation and verification are not available?
Electronic systems for validating and verifying social security numbers, lawful presence, and U.S. passports are fully available for use by states.
DHS recognizes that the state-to-state system –for checking other states for multiple licenses is not available to states at this time. Moreover, DHS recognizes that there are operational challenges with Electronic Verification of Vital Events (EVVE) – the system for verifying U.S. birth certificates.
DHS has recommended the following alternative methods in these two cases:
- EVVE is operational but not all state birth records are electronically accessible or available for verification. States should verify such information through a combination of thorough inspection of the document by an employee trained in recognizing fraudulent documents and comparison of birth certificate information with other identity information presented and electronically verified (e.g., social security information) using available electronic systems.
- A system for implementing the “one driver one license” requirement of the REAL ID Act is not yet available for states. In the interim, DHS recommends a combination of the following alternative methods:
- Use of existing systems for checking for commercial drivers and problem drivers;
- Confirmation by the applicant that he or she does not hold another license; and
- Notification to a state if an applicant confirms that he or she holds or is terminating a license from that jurisdiction.