How Much will RealID Really cost?

Before this law was passed, guesstimated state costs were below $100 million. About the time of passage, critics began to cite numbers in the range of $100 to $700 million. (The act provides $100 million in funding; I'm not sure what those funds will cover.)

Now some states are claiming it will cost them (that is, just one state) $100 or $200 million to comply with RealID, raising a specter of $2 to $5 billion for all the states. This is all guesswork now, especially since the Home Security Secretary has not specified exactly what must be on the licenses. But keep an eye on the cost issue. Those high estimates could turn out to be right.


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