Governor Shrinking From Real ID?

May 10, 2007
Nicole A. Ozer

Page Media

ACLU of Northern CA

While other states are courageously standing up to Congress' misguided national ID mandate, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is giving his constituents a different, or shall we say, indifferent message.

In response to constituent letters urging California to reject implementation of the REAL ID Act, the Governor's office simply replied: "The issue you have written about is federal in nature and not under state jurisdiction. We suggest that you contact your United States Senator…."

REAL ID is a federal mandate, but it is states like California, and ultimately, each Californian, who will bear the burden of putting this privacy-invasive system into place, including its more than 23 billion dollar price tag.

REAL ID forces states to standardize drivers licenses and create massive, interlinked databases of your personal information. Much more information about Real ID is available at

The Governor's response seems to suggest that California's hands are tied, but that's clearly not true. Just this week, Colorado became the eighth state to officially refuse implementation. From Alaska, to Texas, to Pennsylvania, states throughout the country are considering similar resolutions.

California ought be leading this rebellion and standing up for its residents'privacy, not putting its head in the sand. State pushback is already forcing Congress to reconsider REAL ID. California should also refuse to implement this ill-advised law so that a realistic and privacy- protective strategy can be developed.

The Governor is certainly right that you should contact your Congressional representatives and make your voice heard. But Californians deserve better than a "no comment" from its state officials when it comes to an issue of such great importance. Call the Governor at 916-445-2841 and tell him that this is an issue that you care about and that he needs to care about too. The Governor needs to say NO to Real ID.