Stateline MIdwest ~ October 2012

Iowa will issue driver’s licenses and state identification cards next year that meet the initial security standards set out under the federal government’s REAL ID program. According to the Quad City Times, all new driver’s license applicants will be given Iowa’s new cards. Individuals with existing licenses will not have to make the switch.

As they age, seniors face many transportation challenges. There are numerous ways state governments can help meet these challenges both for seniors who are still behind the wheel and for those who are no longer able to drive. They include policies to make road and pedestrian infrastructure safer, improve access to public transportation and better coordinate limited transportation resources.

With the number of older Americans on the nation's roads on the rise, some states have turned to driver's license renewal policies to ensure that seniors remain fit to drive. But states seeking to adopt such policies often face opposition from senior citizen lobbying groups and must carefully weigh questions related to physician reporting, costs of new testing procedures and regulations and the efficacy of the policies in actually improving safety.

This Act enables doctors to report to the state department of motor vehicles patients who have physical or mental conditions which impair the patients‘ driving skills.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) today updated the status of its list of most wanted safety improvements that state governments can make. The list includes requiring booster seats for young children, primary seat belt laws, graduated licensing laws for young drivers, hard core drinking driver program elements, cell phone use restrictions for young drivers and passenger restriction laws for teen drivers. The NTSB also added a new issue area they’re now tracking: motorcycle safety and helmet laws. While a handful of states have made significant progress in adopting laws in all these areas, many states have not yet adopted them despite their proven ability to save lives, the NTSB reported.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the Congress and the administration work with CSG’s members on developing alternatives to REAL ID, such as PASS ID, that will allow states to actively participate in the development and implementation of a more secure and sustainable DL/ID system.

NOW BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments urges the Congress and the administration to work with CSG and CSG’s members as PASS ID moves through the legislative process to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that the legislation includes increased privacy protections, minimizes the cost burden to states, and continues ongoing and substantive stakeholder coordination.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act permits the state department of licensing (DOL) to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a federal agency to facilitate border crossing between the state and Canada. The DOL may enter into an agreement with a Canadian province to implement a border crossing initiative. The DOL may issue an enhanced driver’s license or identicard to an applicant who, in addition to meeting all other driver’s license or identicard requirements, provides the DOL with proof of United States citizenship, identity, and state residency.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act permits the governor to delay implementing the requirements of the Real ID Act until the federal Department of Homeland Security has issued regulations that the governor finds will adequately protect the interests of the citizens of the state.