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Land proposes enhancing security of driver's licenses
Secretary Land proposes enhancing security
On December 5, 2007 Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today announced an initiative to provide Michigan residents with another layer of protection by enhancing the security of driver's licenses.
"Our world continues to change and Michigan must keep pace," Land said. "This plan ensures the integrity of state-issued licenses and helps to secure America's borders. Of course, our customers' needs are always important to us. That's why we crafted our initiative to provide residents with a convenient option depending on their travel needs. Bolstering the security of our licenses is good for families, good for Michigan and good for America."
Land's proposal contains two packages of bills. One deals with upgrading Michigan's "standard" driver's license and the other creates an optional "enhanced" driver's license that is suitable for border crossing under the federal Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).
"Southeast Michigan, particularly tourist destinations like downtown Detroit and Mexicantown, and our entire state have strong economic ties to Canada," said Tobocman,
D-Detroit. "The enhanced license will protect that vital relationship by keeping border crossings convenient without sacrificing homeland security."
"Nothing is more important than the safety of Michigan's residents," said Gilbert,
R-Algonac. "By enacting these changes, we will take a critical step in ensuring a secure future for our state and nation."
Both the upgraded standard and enhanced versions will comply with REAL ID Act requirements, a national effort to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud and improve the reliability of identification documents issued by states. Only the enhanced documents - which are optional - will comply with WHTI.
In addition to the latest security features, the upgraded standard license will contain bar code technology similar to the one on current Michigan driver's licenses and ID cards.
Cost of the new licenses and ID cards will be slightly higher than the current versions due to the enhanced security features and additional required document checks. The actual amount won't be determined until all components of the law are finalized.
The federal government has yet to release final rules for the REAL ID Act.
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