The REAL ID Act was signed into law in 2005 by President George W. Bush. The law was written based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, which found that all but one of the 19 hijackers fraudulently obtained identification to board the planes that were used in the attacks.
Under the law, states require residents to bring personal documents (social security cards, birth certificates, etc.) to prove they are who they claim to be when they go to get driver's licenses and other forms of photo IDs. The law is designed to close loopholes in getting IDs, and to prevent terrorists from getting driver's licenses, renting cars, opening bank accounts and conducting other terrorist activities undetected.
Delaware and Maryland are two of 13 states that have met the requirements of the law, according to the Department of Homeland Security. However, a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that there's a "lack of proactive guidance by DHS on interim solutions for certain REAL ID Act requirements" that has hampered the ability of the states to address gaps and vulnerabilities in the law. That's a concern Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles Director Jennifer Cohan expressed during a forum on the law hosted by The Heritage Foundation today in Washington. Cohan was joined on the panel by Lori Rectanus, an assistant director with the GAO, and Andrew Meehan, a policy analyst for the Coalition for a Secure Driver's License.
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