The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today opened the application period for approximately $48.6 million under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 Driver's License Security Grant Program. These grants support state efforts to prevent terrorism and reduce fraud by improving the reliability and accuracy of identification documents that state governments issue.

The FY 2009 Driver's License Security Grant Program will accept proposals that improve state capabilities consistent with the requirements of the REAL ID final rule. This year's program also will contain pre-determined target allocation funds to all 56 states and territories instead of the competitively awarded funds issued to states and territories under the FY 2008 REAL ID program funds.

The total amount of funds allocated for the FY 2009 Driver's License Security Grant Program is $48,575,000, per the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance and Continuing Appropriations Act of 2009 (Public Law 110-329). Grant allocations will be made on a formula basis, dependent on the number of licensed drivers within each eligible state and territory. Eligible applicants are state motor vehicle/driver's license issuing authorities, also known as the State Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) or the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DHS encourages states to submit grant applications to fund projects that will improve driver's license issuance processes and expedite material compliance with the REAL ID Act and rule. Each grant applicant will need to identify an individual MVA or DMV with overall programmatic and fiscal oversight of FY 2009 Driver's License Security Grant Program funding awarded to the state.

Completed grant applications are due via www.grants.gov no later than Feb. 27, 2009. For more information on the Driver's License Security Grant Program and other DHS grant programs, visit www.dhs.gov and www.fema.gov/grants.