Posted on February 24, 2006

Senate Toughens ID Acquisition

Ann Babe, Badger-Herald (University of Wisconsin, Madison), February 24, 2006

As part of a nationwide effort to combat terrorism, the Wisconsin Senate approved a bill Thursday requiring individuals to prove legal residency before obtaining drivers’ licenses.

The federal Real ID Act, created in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, requires states to meet national identification standards by May 2008.

Wisconsin’s component of the national standard, Assembly Bill 69, would require applicants to present proof of legal residence in order to be eligible for a driver’s license.

“Assembly Bill 69 will bring Wisconsin law into compliance with the Real ID Act,” said Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, who authored the bill’s Senate companion. “It’s . . . an issue of national security.”

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After being approved by the Assembly last year, AB 69 was concurred by the Senate Thursday in a 26 to 7 vote. The bill will now be forwarded to Gov. Jim Doyle for review.

“The governor will look at it when it gets to his desk,” Doyle spokeswoman Anne Lupardus said, “but Congress has imposed a federal mandate that doesn’t give the state very much room on this issue.”

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