October 15, 2004
The Honorable Susan M. Collins
Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
Washington, D.C. 20510
The nation's Governors and state motor vehicle administrators share your concerns regarding the security and integrity of state driver's license and identification card processes. As the conference committee on the intelligence reform bills begins to consider the driver's license provisions contained in S. 2845 and H.R. 10, we respectfully request that the conferees adopt the language of the Senate-passed bill.
States are responsible for the issuance of driver's licenses and other identification documents. It is a role States take seriously as evidenced by state efforts undertaken since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 to increase the reliability and security of their driver's licenses and ID card processes. States also generally oppose federal mandates, particularly unfunded mandates that pass the cost of implementing strenuous federal standards on to state taxpayers.
The framework for developing minimum standards set forth in S. 2845 is preferable to the House provisions because it specifically calls for input from state elected officials and motor vehicle administrators in the regulatory process, protects state eligibility criteria, and retains the flexibility necessary to incorporate best practices from around the states. In addition, the Senate bill includes two other critical components: 1) clarification that the standards will initially apply only to newly-issued and reissued driver's licenses; and 2) a requirement that the negotiated rulemaking committee perform an assessment of the annual benefits and costs of its recommendations. These provisions are critical to ensuring that any new federal standards are workable and adequately funded by the federal government.
Governors and motor vehicle administrators are committed to working cooperatively with the federal government to develop and implement realistic standards that are achievable and will enhance efforts to prevent fraud and illegal use of driver's licenses and other identification documents.
We urge you to adopt the Senate provisions on driver's license and identification cards and allow us to work together with the federal government to develop standards that truly help create a more secure America.
Raymond C. Scheppach
Linda R. Lewis