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New Nevada Driver's License Causing Privacy Concerns

Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles

For the last decade, driver’s licenses in Nevada and a handful of other states have not complied with federal law. The DMV is fixing the issue now, but the new IDs are causing privacy concerns.

Back in 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act, requiring states to perform a federal background check before issuing a driver’s license.  The law was a response to the global war on terror, but it’s taken some states - like Nevada – a long time to catch up.

Last fall, the DMV began issuing Real ID licenses. Spokesman David Fierro says some residents are concerned about their personal information being cross referenced through a national data base.

“Let me make it very clear, their documents do not become a part of those national databases."

Fierro says that information does, however, stay in the state system.

Residents can opt out of this process and receive a different ID called the Standard license, but it comes with limitations.

“If you’re not planning on using that license to get on an airplane in the next few years or to go to a federal building then it doesn’t really matter.”

Because TSA can deny airplane access to anyone with a Standard license, Fierro recommends getting the Real ID when you renew.

Esther Ciammachilli is a former part-time broadcaster at KUNR Public Radio.