Daines Announces Legislation to Repeal REAL ID

HELENA, Mont. — Senator Steve Daines today announced his plan to reintroduce legislation repealing federal mandates for drivers’ licenses included in the REAL ID Act of 2005. 

Standing alongside Montana Attorney General Tim Fox at the Montana Attorney General’s Office, Daines announced that he would be reintroducing the “Repeal ID Act,” which works to protect Montana’s right to reject the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) intrusive ID requirements by fully repealing Section II of the REAL ID Act of 2005. 

“Montanans are fully aware of the power that big data holds and the consequences when that data is abused,” Daines stated. “Montana has shown how states are best equipped to make licenses secure, without sacrificing the privacy and rights of their citizens. The Repeal ID Act will allow us to strike a balance that protects our national security, while also safeguarding Montanans’ civil liberties and personal privacy.”

“I am grateful to Senator Daines for his ongoing efforts to repeal the unnecessary and intrusive federal REAL ID law,” Fox stated. “In 2007, our legislators spoke loud and clear by unanimously passing a law prohibiting implementation of federal REAL ID in Montana. While we have been successful in securing extensions of the REAL ID compliance deadline for Montana, the best solution is for Congress and the president to repeal the law permanently.”

By repealing Title II of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which establishes national standards for driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards, Daines’ legislation will ensure that the 2007 Montana law banning compliance with REAL ID drivers license mandates is protected. 

Daines’ announcement comes on the heels of the DHS announcement that REAL ID requirements will soon be enforced when Americans fly. DHS recently granted Montana an extension for meeting REAL ID mandates until October 10, 2016. Without an additional extension or repeal of the REAL ID requirements, Montanans will eventually be required to show additional documents of identification when flying in the United States. 

Daines’ bill is comparable to legislation he introduced while serving in the House. Representative Ryan Zinke is planning to introduce companion legislation in the House.