The New Hampshire Senate voted 24-0 yesterday to prohibit New Hampshire from participating in the national identification card system known as Real ID.
House Bill 685 orders the state not to change its procedures for issuing drivers' licenses or state ID cards to meet the rules set by the federal Real ID Act of 2005. The legislation also restricts the information from New Hampshire's motor vehicle records that will be shared with other states or the federal government.
The bill identifies the Real ID Act as "contrary and repugnant" to the New Hampshire Constitution and the U.S. Constitution
"There was no one who appeared before our committee in opposition to this bill," said Senator Peter Burling (D-Cornish), who co-sponsored House Bill 685. "The entire Executive Departments and Administration Committee believes that passage of this bill will make New Hampshire citizens more secure."
House Bill 685 passed overwhelmingly in the House last month with a vote of 268-8.
Under Real ID, applicants for a driver's license or official state identification card would have to provide documents to the state Department of Safety such as birth certificates, bank statements or property tax bills to prove their identity and their address. The department would be required to keep copies of those documents under the federal law.
Last year New Hampshire was one of two states picked to pilot the Real ID program, but Governor John Lynch and the Executive Council did not approve the $3 million grant.
Four states, including Maine, recently adopted resolutions rejecting the Real ID program, and at least twenty-one other states are currently considering similar legislation.