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November 3, 2015

Have we won the fight against the REAL ID Act

Have the American people defeated the REAL ID Act?


Tonight, Downsize DC President, Jim Babka, will appear in Orlando, Florida. Tomorrow, he moves to Fort Myers, and Thursday he’ll be in Tampa. His talk is titled, “How one voluntaryist can turn Florida into a libertarian place.” Specific times and places can be found on the Zero Aggression blog.


Downsize DC has been fighting the REAL ID Act since Congress passed it in 2005. REAL ID established standards for ID cards that all states were supposed to follow. Ten years later not a single state has fully complied with REAL ID.

That’s because the American people hate the idea of a national ID card. Plus, the cost to fully implement REAL ID is astronomical, so it would require tax increases. State-level politicians know their citizens will be furious if they comply with a national ID system. And so the states continue resisting. This demonstrates something we’ve long maintained…

You can control the politicians if you exert enough pressure.

But there are two problems that can only be fixed by actually repealing the REAL ID Act.

First, bureaucracies don’t always obey their bosses. Jim Harper of Cato Institute reports that some state DMVs have taken steps to comply with REAL ID, even when state policy is against it.

Second, the Feds continue to spend money on this nearly non-existent program. The cost had risen to a quarter of a billion dollars as of last year.

So let’s keep pushing. Tell Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act.

Sample letter…

Congress must bow to the will of the people. Americans don’t want a national ID system. State governments know this. That’s why NONE of them have fully complied with REAL ID. It’s been ten years. REAL ID is NEVER going to happen. But you keep spending money on it — $250 million to date. This is pure waste. Please show us you recognize and respect the will of the people. Show me you represent me. File legislation to repeal the REAL ID Act.

By the way — I know that the contractors who benefit from REAL ID spending will lobby you to preserve it. You should consider my wishes as more important than theirs.


Thank you,

Jim Babka & Perry Willis
Co-founders, Downsize DC

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