One reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11 was renewed discussion about
instituting a national ID card as a counter-terrorism measure. The Administration and
Congress have wisely rejected such an idea thus far. However, direct passage of a national ID
card is only one possible path to such a system. Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Tom Davis (R-VA) have introduced the "Driver's License Modernization Act of 2002" (H.R. 4633), which
establishes a nationwide identification system through the bureaucratic back door of state
driver's licenses. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is also drafting a driver's license proposal.
A LICENSE TO LIVE, NOT DRIVE
The Driver's License Modernization Act is a dangerous National ID card proposal because it:
- Requires each state to standardize state driver's licenses and identification cards within
- Establishes uniform standards for licenses and identification cards (a.k.a."smart" cards),
including standards for biometric identifiers embedded in the card and interoperability
requirements permitting all levels of government and the private sector to access and
store information on the card;
- Requires states to adopt uniform procedures for establishing the identity and residence
of applicants; and
- Links state motor vehicle databases.
TRACKING LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS
H.R. 4633 would establish a national ID as well as the infrastructure for an
unparalleled system of personal information sharing. One problem with a National ID card is
the centralizing onto one computer chip a person's entire life. We do not want a system
where every American is questioned, tracked, and treated as a terrorist, a drug trafficker, a
money launderer, or a criminal. H.R. 4633 would take us even further toward a surveillance
society that would significantly diminish the freedom and privacy of law-abiding people in
the United States.
Furthermore, enacting a national ID card in the name of anti-terrorism will not
necessarily make us safer. An identity card is only as good as the information that establishes
identity in the first place. Identity fraud and theft are already rampant. Terrorists and
criminals will continue to obtain - by legal and illegal means - the documents needed to get a
government ID, such as birth certificates and Social Security numbers.
Write, e-mail or call your Representatives and Senators today! Urge them to publicly
oppose the creation of a national ID card, especially through driver's license
standardization or similar proposals.
Make sure that your Members DO NOT co-sponsor National ID legislation.
Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121