House Bill 585, introduced today by State Representative Rex Damschroder (R-Fremont), will allow Ohioans to purchase Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL’s) to facilitate more convenient and less costly land and sea border crossings between the United States and its border countries.

“Enhanced driver’s licenses, or EDL’s, are being used in four states currently,” Rep. Damschroder stated. “EDL’s can be used as an alternative to a passport.”

Currently, the states of Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington issue EDL’s. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must approve the agreement set up in the legislation to allow Ohio to issue the licenses. Applicants are screened through a security check developed by DHS. The cost to obtain an EDL under the legislation is $22, in the same range as the other states costs.

“In the four states currently issuing EDL’s, this has been an enormously successful program,” Damschroder continued. “In Michigan, for instance, over 400,000 enhanced driver’s licenses were issued by the end of 2011. This program lessens the cost and increases convenience for Ohioans since EDL’s can be used in place of a passport. Additionally, travelers are not burdened with the safety concerns of a passport being lost or stolen. HB 585 recognizes Ohio’s close proximity to the Canadian border by land and sea, allowing Ohioans a common-sense method for our citizens to travel through border crossings.”


Jason Cowling said...

How is this any different than the REALID Act? I don't like the idea of having an RFID chip that can be traced at anytime. What advantage is there here over a regular passport?

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