Governor John Lynch today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff urging him not impose Real ID requirements on New Hampshire citizens beginning in May.

Last year, Governor Lynch signed legislation prohibiting the New Hampshire from participating in the federal Real ID system. The House approved the legislation 268-9, and the Senate unanimously supported it.

"New Hampshire and many other states across the nation have raised legitimate questions about privacy protection and the costs of Real ID. To date, the federal government has ignored those real problems and barreled ahead with Real ID," Lynch said. "We have a law that prohibits New Hampshire from taking part in this burdensome system and New Hampshire was right to reject it.

"Until the federal government can address our concerns regarding Real ID, including the cost, the impact on the privacy of our citizens and the burden it will place on state government employees, it should not impose the Real ID requirements on New Hampshire citizens," Governor Lynch said.

The Department of Homeland Security informed the states that beginning May 11, the states either had to have driver's licenses in compliance with the federal Real ID requirements, or request an extension. Otherwise, that state's residents would be forced to show federally issued identification, such as a passport, before entering federally controlled buildings or boarding a plane.

Governor Lynch's letter to Secretary Chertoff:

 

February 25, 2008

The Honorable Michael Chertoff

Secretary of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Washington, DC 20528

Re: Real ID Request Under 6 CFR Part 37.63

Dear Secretary Chertoff:

On behalf of the State of New Hampshire, pursuant to 6 CFR Part 37.63, I request that New Hampshire driver's licenses continue to be acceptable as identification by federal agencies for official purposes after May 11, 2008.

As you know, the State of New Hampshire adopted legislation prohibiting participation in any driver's license program pursuant to the REAL ID Act of 2005 or in any national identification card system that may follow therefrom. See 2007 N.H. Laws Chapter 243. This request is not an indication of our state's intent to comply with the Real ID final rule.

We appreciate your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

John H. Lynch

Governor