SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would opt Utah out of the federal Real ID Act passed through a legislative committee with favorable recommendation Wednesday afternoon.
If passed, HB234 would release the state from complying with some of the heavy requirements of the act, including putting a GPS chip in every driver's license to monitor state and national border crossings.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Stephen Sandstorm, R-Orem, said the law would only hold Utah accountable for the portions of the act the state has already been phasing in, including the new requirement that a birth certificate be shown to obtain a driver's license. Other than that, the state wouldn't have to fund parts of the act such as uploading all birth certificates, driver's licenses, Social Security numbers and other personal information onto a national database.
Sandstorm said 15 states have already passed legislation to opt out of the act, but his bill is not part of the state's rights bills being discussed in both houses.
The single dissenting vote was Sen. Jon Greiner, R-Ogden, who is Ogden's police chief.
"As a law enforcement officer, I need to use all the tools I can get," he said, "and now you're trying to take some of them away."
The bill may be read online at le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0234S01.htm.
— Abigail Shaha