By a vote of 32-0 the State Senate has approved HB 361 – legislation that would have Missouri join a dozen other states in rejecting the federal government REAL ID Act of 2005 requiring states to conform to a federal standard for driver’s licenses or identification cards. Having previously been approved by the House, the bill now goes to Governor Jay Nixon.
Opponents of REAL ID express privacy and constitutional concerns. During Senate debate the question of federal government motive was also raised. Senator Gary Nodler (R-Joplin) suggested federal lawmakers lack the courage to anger those with constitutional concerns, so they are forcing the states to do what Congress refuses to do.
"You back door rather than to directly, frontally confront the issue," said Nodler. "Of whether we should have a national ID card."
Senator Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph), the Senate President Pro Tem, agrees with Nodler.
"The reason this is out there," said Shields. "Is because there was enough objection from civil libertarians about having a national ID that the Congress went around that and said we will make sure that we have state IDs in all 50 states and territories that comply with the national standard."
The currrent federal REAL ID requirements call for implementation of the rules to begin this year, with an effective date of December, 2011. The Obama Administration has indicated, however, that the implementation date could be delayed.