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The Nation

Sixth state opposes Real ID Act

June 28, 2007|From the Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire on Wednesday rejected the federal Real ID Act as tantamount to requiring a national ID card, joining five other states in opposing it.

South Carolina, Montana, Washington, Oklahoma and Maine also have rejected the federal act.

"Here in New Hampshire, we pride ourselves on being frugal, and here in New Hampshire, we pride ourselves on respecting the privacy of our neighbors," Gov. John Lynch said at the signing.

The law's supporters say it is needed to prevent terrorists and illegal immigrants from getting fake identification cards. Critics say it is intrusive, costly and likely to be abused by identity thieves.

The act was passed in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. It requires all states to bring their driver's licenses under a national standard and to link their record-keeping systems. States must verify identification used to obtain a driver's license, such as birth certificates, Social Security numbers and passports.

Driver's licenses not meeting the standard won't be accepted as identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building.

New Hampshire's law calls the act "repugnant" to the state and federal constitutions. The law prohibits the state from complying with the act, which sets standards for state-issued driver's licenses.

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