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Driving for a national ID. (Insider Report).

September 11th breathed new life into the crusade to convert state-issued driver's licenses into de facto national identification cards.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators leads the charge. As AAMVA spokesman Jason King has stated, "It took September 11 to [bring] the importance of the driver license into view." The association represents all state motor vehicle agencies in the United States and Canada, and includes the U.S. and Mexican governments among its associate members.

On October 24, 2001, the AAMVA created a Special Task Force on Identification Security to conjure up a more secure, nationally uniform driver-licensing standard. Its report was formally unveiled during a January 14th press conference in Washington. According to that day's Washington Post, the new standard would "create a national identification system that would include high-tech driver's licenses and a network of tightly linked databases of driver information." Specifically, it would dictate new minimum criteria for confirming residency, legal status, and identity, and would authorize state motor vehicle departments to share information with the Social Security Administration, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and law enforcement a agencies It would also allow for a national identification system using such technology as bar codes and biometrics to distinguish individuals based on unique physical characteristics like fingerprints.

During remarks at the National Press Club on January 14th, AAMVA President & CEO Linda R. Lewis emphasized "These changes will not come without impacts to you, to me or to anyone who wishes to hold a state-issued driver's license or ID card.... And, these changes will not come without federal intervention." The AAMVA has called for new federal and state spending of between $70 million and $100 million to link all state databases, overhaul licensing procedures, and switch to high-tech cards. Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) is working with the association to craft legislation that would, among other things, implement the uniform nationwide standards and develop the cards. A cording to the Washington Post, "The proposed law might also require the use of a biometric, such as a fingerprint."
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Title Annotation:driver's licenses
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 11, 2002
Words:339
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