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>UPDATE: Utah’s HB 234 is still opt-out, going forward

03/11/2010

>BTC Exclusive – Language to HB 234, Utah’s state bill to opt-out of Real ID, was amended recently as a concession to gain Gov. Herbert’s signature. The amendment, authored by Senator Margaret Dayton, limited the state bill’s ability to prohibit all future national identity programs from consideration in the State of Utah. Future federal identity legislation, like the proposed Schumer-Graham bill to approve national biometric worker ID cards, would not be excluded from considerations in the amended version of the bill.

The bill, if passed as amended, would close the door on any future implementations or benchmark compliance movements in Utah. The issue of license benchmark compliances were debated during the bill’s passage through the House, according to sponsor Rep. Stephen Sandstrom. Citizens opposed to Real ID and similar legislations balked at some of the bill’s language, doubting the bill’s ability to stop incremental movements forward to implement the use of RFID and subsequent databases.

“There is nothing in the current [license] code to [move forward with RFID, databases], ” said Sandstrom, who says the bill would opt-out Utah of any future compliance with the Real ID Act, but not of future programs involving national identity.
License holders who possesss cards which comply in part with the Real ID Act program will not have to return to the DMV to get a different license once the bill is passed. For instance, Utah license holders with benchmark compliant bar codes won’t return to long lines to renew or replace licenses for new IDs without barcodes. Utah licenses with the barcodes also won’t be moved to the next step of being incorporated into a national to international database aggregate set forward by the Real ID program.
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