"An Act relating to issuance of identification cards and to issuance of driver's licenses; and providing for an effective date. "
"Alaskans deserve the right to be assured motorists driving with Alaska driver's licenses are legally in the United States and we know their identities."
- Sen. Huggins
On May 11, 2005 President Bush signed into law the REAL ID Act. Provisions of this legislation improved security for drivers' licenses and personal identification cards as well as set uniform standards for state driver's licenses and identification cards. CSSB 189 is designed to bring Alaska into compliance with the new federal Real ID Act.
Currently the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles, through Standard Operating Procedures, has required that proper documentation be provided to establish that an applicant is either a U.S. citizen or legally present in the United States for the purposes of issuing an identification card or drivers license. CSSB 189, puts into statute what DMV is currently requiring procedurally.
Secondly, as required by the REAL ID Act, CSSB 189 establishes that in order to issue temporary licenses or temporary ID cards, that will be acceptable to the federal government for identification purposes, there must be an expiration date of the identification card or driver license to coincide with the length of stay in the United States. If the period of authorized stay is indefinite, the expiration date of the license is one year from the date of issue.
A federal agency may not accept a driver's license or personal identification card after May 11, 2008, unless the state has been certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in consultation with the U.S. Department of Transportation to meet the requirements of the law.
CSSB 189 is needed to enhance the security of the driver's license and identification card due to increasing problems of identity theft and fraud. Driver's licenses and state issued identification cards have been used as proof of identity more often than proof of one's ability to drive safely. Holding one of these credentials provides access to an ever-increasing number of privileges and services, from obtaining credit to cashing checks, buying or leasing cars and boarding airplanes.
Alaskans deserve the right to be assured motorists driving with Alaska driver's licenses are legally in the United States and we know their identities.