BILL REQ. #:  H-3525.1 


State of Washington59th Legislature2006 Regular Session

By Representatives Nixon, Appleton, Upthegrove, Morrell, Williams, Simpson and Moeller

Read first time 01/10/2006.   Referred to Committee on Transportation.

     We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
     WHEREAS, The state of Washington's highly utilized waterways, large active ports, major international airports, multiple bridges, access to military bases, dispatch and transport of hazardous waste into Hanford, and sharing a border with Canada make the state uniquely vulnerable to terrorism; and
     WHEREAS, Washington has a diverse population whose contributions to the state are vital to its economy, culture, and civic character; and
     WHEREAS, Washington denounces terrorism and acknowledges that federal, state, and local governments have a responsibility to protect the public from terrorist attacks and should ensure that any new security measures enhance public safety without unconstitutionally impairing civil rights or civil liberties; and
     WHEREAS, The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Rights of the Constitution of the state of Washington guarantee fundamental and inalienable rights, including the right to privacy and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, for all people living in Washington; and
     WHEREAS, Washington is proud of its tradition of protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all its residents and affirming the fundamental rights of all people, including providing for a more expansive protection of the right of privacy in the Washington State Constitution than exists in the United States Constitution; and
     WHEREAS, The preservation of civil rights and civil liberties is a pillar of American society and is essential to the well-being of any democracy; and
     WHEREAS, The Washington legislature believes that there is no inherent conflict between national security and the preservation of constitutional rights and liberties; and
     WHEREAS, The REAL ID Act of 2005 creates a national identification card by requiring that uniform information be placed on every state driver's license, requiring this information to be machine readable in a standard format, and requiring this card for any federal purpose including air travel; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID will be a costly unfunded mandate on the state, with the Department of Licensing estimating a cost of two hundred fifty million dollars over five years, and media reports indicate that REAL ID will cost up to thirteen billion dollars to implement nationally; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID requires the creation of a massive public sector database containing driver's license information on every American, accessible to government employees and law enforcement officers in every state of the country; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID enables the creation of additional massive private sector databases combining both transactional information and driver's license information gained from scanning the machine-readable information contained on every driver's license; and
     WHEREAS, These public and private databases are likely to contain numerous errors and false information, creating significant hardships for Americans attempting to verify their identities in order to fly, open a bank account, or perform any of the numerous functions required to live in the United States today; and
     WHEREAS, The Federal Trade Commission estimates that ten million Americans are victims of identity theft annually and these thieves are increasingly targeting motor vehicle departments, REAL ID will enable the crime of identity theft by making the personal information of all Americans including name, date of birth, gender, driver's license or identification card number, digital photograph, address, and signature accessible from tens of thousands of locations; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID requires the driver's licenses to contain actual home addresses in all cases and makes no provision for securing personal information for individuals in potential danger such as undercover police officers or victims of domestic violence, stalking, or criminal harassment; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID contains onerous record verification and retention provisions that place unreasonable burdens on both the Department of Licensing and on third parties required to verify records; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID will likely place enormous burdens on consumers seeking a new driver's license including longer lines, higher costs, increased document requests, and a waiting period; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID was passed without sufficient deliberation by Congress and never received a hearing by any Congressional committee or any vote solely on its own merits; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID eliminated a process of negotiated rulemaking initiated under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 which had convened federal, state, and local policymakers, privacy advocates, and industry experts to solve the problem of misuse in identity documents; and
     WHEREAS, REAL ID would provide little security benefit and still leave identification systems open to insider fraud, counterfeit documentation, and database failures; and
     WHEREAS, The Washington legislature affirms its abhorrence of and opposition to global terrorism, and affirms its commitment to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all Washington residents and opposes any measures, including the REAL ID Act, that unconstitutionally infringe upon those civil rights and civil liberties;
     NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the Washington legislature calls on Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005.
     BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George W. Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.

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