The New Hampshire Senate
Republican Majority Office
Concord, NH – Senate Transportation Committee Chair Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton) today commented on the Committee’s unanimous vote against a bill designed to bring New Hampshire under the federal REAL ID program. The Transportation Committee this week voted 5-0 to recommend that SB 262 is Inexpedient to Legislate.
“In 2007, the New Hampshire Legislature was the first in the nation to reject the national ID program known as REAL ID. Since then, we have taken steps to improve our drivers’ licenses,” Stiles explained. “There is no need to enter into a national ID program, and no urgency or reason why federal authorities won’t continue to honor New Hampshire licenses at this time.”
HB 685 passed the New Hampshire House 268-9 and the Senate 24-0 before being signed into law by Governor John Lynch in 2007. Then-Senator Maggie Hassan voted to keep New Hampshire out of REAL ID. Since then, 26 other states have passed laws or resolutions opposing REAL ID. SB 262 would enter all New Hampshire Social Security numbers into a Department of Homeland Security database, unless New Hampshire drivers opt out. Those drivers would then be given a special license marked to show that it does not meet the national ID standards.
“SB 262 would have created a second class of drivers’ licenses for New Hampshire residents who did not want their Social Security numbers stored in a federal database, while bringing New Hampshire under REAL ID,” Stiles added. “This bill simply isn’t necessary, and the Transportation Committee unanimously urges our Senate colleagues to defeat it on the Senate floor next week.”