Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Real ID, Real Unfunded Mandate, Real Unnecessary

It seems to be standard that major new government programs cost more than we expect. Federal Computer Week has a story, “Real ID costs rising:”

Earlier this year, Congressional Budget Office officials said nationwide implementation of the Real ID Act would cost $100 million in five years. The act requires minimum national standards and physical features, including biographic and biometric data, for machine-readable driver’s licenses and personal identification cards within three years.

But Larry Dzieza, budget director of the Department of Licensing in Washington state, estimated that the state might need to spend $97 million in the next two years to implement the mandated provisions. He added that Pennsylvania estimates spending $100 million, while Virginia’s cost could be $232 million, including a one-time expense of $167 million and $66 million in ongoing annual costs.

The Real ID act will make Americans less safe, by increasing the number of ID checks, and the motivation and incentive to obtain fraudulently issued ID. It will subject us all to greatly increased risks of ID theft. It will cost us up front, and it will cost us in ongoing pain.

One comment on "Real ID, Real Unfunded Mandate, Real Unnecessary"

  • Chris Walsh says:

    RealID (which is bad regardless of cost, of course) has gone from costing $3 mil per state to what — $100 mil? That’s nutty, not to mention utterly foreseable — the national conference of state legislatures (IIRC) called the original estimate wildly low — but even they were off by an order of magnitude.
    Bruce’s posting on this back in May has some comments about cost, too.

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