As to the spin that applying for a REAL ID extension amounts to planning for compliance, nothing takes the cake quite like an email that was forwarded to me today. Because I can’t find an online version, I’ve screen-capped the relevant part of an email sent out by Digimarc lobbyist Mark Rhoads:
For reference, here is the relevant language from the regulation. You can infer from this what everyone involved in the process knows – the extension to December 31, 2009 is a free pass. It requires no statement of compliance, and it has been given to states that will not comply:
Sec. 37.63 Extension of deadline. (a) A State may request an initial extension by filing a request with the Secretary no later than March 31, 2008. In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, such an extension request will be deemed justified for a period lasting until, but not beyond, December 31, 2009. DHS shall notify a State of its acceptance of the State’s request for initial extension within 45 days of receipt. (b) States granted an initial extension may file a request for an additional extension until no later than May 10, 2011, by submitting a Material Compliance Checklist demonstrating material compliance, per Sec. 37.51(b) with certain elements of subparts A through E as defined by DHS. Such additional extension request must be filed by October 11, 2009. DHS shall notify a State whether an additional extension has been granted within 45 days of receipt of the request and documents described above. (c) Subsequent extensions, if any, will be at the discretion of the Secretary.