Changes at DMV Nix Security Efforts

Administrative changes allow illegal aliens to obtain NYS driver’s licenses
September 26, 2007

Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua) has called on Gov. Eliot Spitzer to withdraw a new policy change that would openly allow illegal aliens to obtain New York driver’s licenses.

“Governor Spitzer’s change to DMV driver license eligibility is going to have a serious impact on security,” said Kolb. “The administrative policy change creates a loophole in DMV regulations where illegal aliens and potential terrorists could apply for state driver’s licenses without regard to their citizenship status.”

The change rescinds requirement of proof of Social Security number to qualify and accepts documents such as foreign passports. This slackening of requirements comes just a few months before a new federal requirement is implemented that would enhance security through verification.

The Federal Real ID Act and the proposed federal regulations to implement it require states to meet certain minimum security standards in order for state driver licenses to be acceptable. Requirements include that an applicant produce evidence of a valid SSN. The only foreign documentation that would be accepted would be a foreign passport with a valid, current US Visa. The federal standards were developed to protect against identity fraud and to protect our national security. Many of the foreign terrorists involved in the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001 used false information to obtain driver’s licenses that allowed them to move about our country freely and to rent vehicles and board aircraft used in the plot against us.

“We have an empty sky over lower Manhattan as a result of terrorism by individuals who used forged documents to obtain driver’s licenses and board airplanes they turned into weapons,” said Kolb. “It would be wrong to ease restrictions and security. I am calling on the governor to reconsider his unilateral decision to change policy and instead open the process to a public forum where we can address questions concerning homeland security. It is imperative that such sensitive issues be properly vetted to allow the public and members of the Legislature to give their input.”