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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: November 7, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 216)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 56261-56262]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07no01-30]                         
=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

23 CFR Part 1331

[Docket No. NHTSA-2001-10917]
RIN 2127-AG-91

Withdrawal of Proposed Rule on State-Issued Driver's Licenses and 
Comparable Identification Documents

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Withdrawal of proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document withdraws a proposed rule that was intended to 
implement the requirements contained in section 656(b) of the Illegal 
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Section 
656(b) of the Act, entitled State-Issued Driver's Licenses and 
Comparable Identification Documents, provided that a Federal agency 
could only accept as proof of identity a driver's license or 
identification document that conformed to specific requirements, in 
accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary of Transportation. 
Congress subsequently repealed section 656(b) of the Illegal 
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

DATES: The proposed rule is withdrawn as of November 7, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Christine Holdsworth, Acting 
Chief, Driver Register and Traffic Records Division, NTS-32, NHTSA, 400 
Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590; telephone (202) 366-4800, 
or Ms. Heidi L. Coleman, Assistant Chief Counsel for General Law, NCC-
30, NHTSA, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590; telephone 
(202) 366-1834.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act 
for Fiscal Year 1997, Pub. L. 104-208, was signed into law on September 
30, 1996. The Omnibus Act included, as Title VI of Division C, the 
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 
(hereinafter, the ``Immigration Reform Act''). The purpose of the 
Immigration Reform Act was to improve deterrence of illegal immigration 
into the United States.
    Section 656(b) of the Act, entitled State-Issued Driver's Licenses 
and Comparable Identification Documents, provided that, after October 
1, 2000, Federal agencies could not accept driver's licenses, or other 
comparable identification documents issued by a State, as proof of 
identity unless the driver's license or identification document 
conformed to certain requirements.

A. Statutory Requirements

    Section 656(b) established three requirements that State-issued 
driver's licenses or other comparable identification documents had to 
meet, to be acceptable as proof of identity:
    1. Application Process--The application process for the driver's 
license or identification document was to include the presentation of 
such evidence of identity as required by regulations promulgated by the 
Secretary of Transportation, after consultation with the American 
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
    2. Form--The driver's license or identification document was to be 
in a form consistent with requirements set forth in regulations 
promulgated by the Secretary of Transportation, after consultation with 
AAMVA. The form was to contain security features designed to limit 
tampering, counterfeiting, photocopying, or otherwise duplicating, the 
driver's license or identification document for fraudulent purposes and 
to limit the use of the driver's license or identification document by 
imposters.
    3. Social Security Number--The driver's license or identification 
document was required to contain a social security number that could be 
read visually or by electronic means, unless the State issuing such 
driver's license or identification document met certain conditions.
    To meet the conditions, the State that did not require the driver's 
license or identification document to contain a social security number 
would have had to require every applicant for a driver's license or 
identification documents to submit his or her social security number. 
The State would also have had to verify the validity of the social 
security number with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

B. Proposed Regulations

    The Immigration Reform Act required that the Secretary of 
Transportation issue regulations governing State-issued driver's 
licenses and comparable

[[Page 56262]]

identification documents after consulting with the American Association 
of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).
    NHTSA consulted with AAMVA, and with interested Federal agencies 
before issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on June 17, 1998, 
63 FR33220, to implement Section 656(b). The proposed requirements 
related to such matters as evidence of identity, form and security 
features, use of the social security number, certification of 
compliance, and the availability of grants to assist States in meeting 
these requirements.
    The agency received a total of 2,591 comments, the vast majority of 
which strongly opposed the agency's proposal. The most frequent 
objections were based on privacy and civil liberty concerns.
    Congress also received an overwhelming number of negative comments 
regarding section 656(b) and the agency's proposal to implement that 
section. On October 9, 1999, Congress repealed section 656(b) Pub. L. 
106-69, 113 Stat. 1027. Accordingly, the proposed rule to implement the 
requirements contained in section 656(b), published on June 17, 1998, 
at 63 FR 33220, entitled State-Issued Driver's Licenses and Comparable 
Identification Documents, is hereby withdrawn.

    Issued on: November 1, 2001.
Jeffrey W. Runge,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 01-28007 Filed 11-6-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P


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