Governor Janet Napolitano and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Thursday to move forward on the creation of Arizona's 3-in-1 ID -- a voluntary identification that complies with Arizona's driver's license standards, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and can be used in the work eligibility process.
"Arizonans deal every day with the many complex issues surrounding border security and immigration," said Napolitano. "I believe this enhanced identification will be a useful tool. It is my hope that the partnership with the Secretary and the agency will support work on this new project throughout the process of its development."
"I value the governor's leadership in making Arizona licenses more secure," said Secretary Chertoff. "America knows too well how dangerous unsecured licenses can be. The public is way ahead of government when it comes to secure identification. They want protection from identity theft, and they want greater facilitation of lawful trade and travel. Agreements like this one, and the others before it, move secure identification in the right direction, and I urge other states to do the same."
Over time, the enhanced document also will be aligned to comply with Real ID, which Napolitano will continue to urge the federal government to fully fund. DHS, in turn, will provide the technology and data sharing specifications to facilitate the use and verification of the enhanced driver's license at a port of entry.
The Arizona agreement, much like those established with the states of Washington, Vermont and New York earlier this year, will serve as an option available to U.S. citizens to satisfy WHTI requirements. DHS announced in June that U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document or government-issued photo ID and proof of citizenship, such as a driver's license and birth certificate, beginning on January 31, 2008, for admissibility into the U.S. The department intends to end the routine practice of accepting oral declarations alone at land and sea ports of entry at that time.
Arizona is developing a technologically-enhanced driver's license that will securely validate the identity and U.S. citizenship of Arizona residents who voluntarily apply and qualify. The enhanced driver's license, which is proposed to be accepted for border-crossing purposes under WHTI, is expected to be slightly more expensive than a standard Arizona state driver's license and will require proof of citizenship, identity, and residence.
The 3-in-1 ID will require legislative approval, which the governor has committed to seek.