Safe IDs waiting on fees, rules
Jan 3, 2013
High-tech driver’s licenses still need legislators’ OK
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By Benjamin Marrison THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH • Thursday January 3, 2013 6:19 AM
Ohioans will not see the new Safe ID cards this month because rules for issuing them and fees tocover costs have not been established. Ohio’s new higher-security driver’s licenses were to be available for people moving to the stateor getting new licenses after Jan. 15. But Joe Andrews, communications director for the OhioDepartment of Public Safety, said the rules establishing the licensing process had not beenapproved as required. In addition, the legislature did not set the fees before the end of 2012, andit is unclear when the new General Assembly will consider the proposal. “We attempted to get it into the lame-duck session, but it didn’t make it into a bill,” Andrewssaid. “We’re still working to get it into a bill in the next session.”
Before the Safe IDs can be issued, the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review must set thelicensing process. Ohio planned to switch to the new Safe ID cards to comply with the Real ID Act of 2005, whichgrew out of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. The act has been controversial because ofprivacy concerns and because of the increased costs for the new, thinner licenses, which featureenhanced security features to make them more difficult to counterfeit. The new licenses, which are to be manufactured in Sacramento, Calif., and mailed, are expectedto cost $29 each, up $3.25 from the current price of $25.75. Andrews said that the additional feeis to cover the state’s actual cost. “We won’t make any money on it,” he said, noting that thelegislature would set the fee. While people needing a new license would have been required to provide more documentation toobtain the Safe ID card, Ohioans needing to renew their licenses would have the option of keepingthe current style until Dec. 1, 2014, Andrews said. Ohio is one of only 13 states that have complied with federal security requirements for the newdriver’s licenses. While Ohio had been moving toward full implementation, 15 states have passed legislation to barthe Real ID Act from being enacted, and 10 other states passed resolutions denouncing it. By 2017, Real ID-compliant identification cards will be needed for federal purposes, such asboarding a commercial aircraft or entering a federal building.