Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004: National Standards for Drivers' Licenses, Social Security Cards, and Birth Certificates [January 6, 2005]   [open pdf - 61KB]

"In its comprehensive report to the nation, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) recommended that the federal government set national standards for the issuance of identification documents including drivers' licenses, social security cards, and birth certificates. The Commission noted that identification fraud is no longer simply a matter of theft, but now complicates the government's ability to adequately ensure public safety at vulnerable facilities including airport terminals, train stations, bus stations, and other entry points. The final legislation that was approved by Congress on December 8, 2004, and signed by the President on December 17, 2004, contained many of the provisions found in the Senate's original proposal with several significant additions from the House's proposed language. Many of the provisions that were considered controversial were not ultimately included, however, several Members indicated during the floor debate that these issues, specifically those that relate to drivers' licenses, would be revisited during the 109th Congress. In addition, because many of these provisions only delegate regulatory authority to federal agencies, several concerns that were raised during the legislation's deliberation, including access to birth certificates by genealogists or other historical researchers, are not specifically addressed by the statutory language, and will likely be the subject of agency action. This report will be updated as events warrant."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32722
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