California to Receive 3.2 Million in Federal REAL ID Grants

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations

www.dmv.ca.gov
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June 24, 2008

Sacramento –The federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the allocation of approximately $80 million in grants to 48 states and territories under the REAL ID Demonstration Grant Program, of which $3.2 million has been identified for California’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Demonstration Grants are designed to standardize driver licenses, identification cards and protect against fraud and identity theft. Grant funds are intended to help state driver license issuance authorities enhance the integrity of driver license and identification card issuance capabilities, as well as system security.

“We’re pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has recognized that funding is necessary to pay for REAL ID activities, but the amount of money allocated remains far short of what the states need,” said DMV Director George Valverde.

California has gone on record that privacy, funding and security issues remain before any decision to implement REAL ID in California can be made. In a March 18, 2008 letter to DHS Secretary Chertoff, Director Valverde said that “while we acknowledge that a workable REAL ID program may create positive results, a significant number of outstanding issues need to be addressed before we can make any kind of recommendation regarding implementation of REAL ID in California.”

The $3.2 million identified for California would require legislative spending authority prior to DMV expending any of the funds.

California DMV is recognized as a national leader in secure, centralized driver license production, including legal presence and social security verification of source documents. “California’s business practices have been consistent with the major objective of REAL ID – one driver, one record,” said Director Valverde.

The federal REAL ID Act was signed into law in May 2005, and sets minimum standards for U.S. driver licenses and identification cards. All 56 states and territories were granted a two-year compliance extension through Dec. 31, 2009.

Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (www.dmv.ca.gov), including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions

The DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools..

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