Date: January 7, 2005
President Bush Signs Public Law 108-458, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004
On December 17, 2004, President Bush signed into law S. 2845, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-458). On December 7, 2004, the House of Representatives passed S. 2845 by a vote of 336 to 75. The Senate passed S. 2845 by a vote of 89-2 on December 8, 2004. The law provides for reform of the intelligence community, terrorism prevention and prosecution, border security, and international cooperation and coordination.
Included in the legislation are the following provisions of interest to SSA:
Section 7211. Minimum Standards for Birth Certificates
- Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Commissioner of Social Security and others, to promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards for birth certificates. These regulations must be promulgated within one year of the date of enactment. The standards shall include, among other things, a requirement for proof and verification of identity as a condition of issuance of a birth certificate.
- Beginning 2 years after promulgation of these regulations, Federal agencies will be prohibited from accepting, for any official purpose, a birth certificate that does not conform to the new standards.
- Requires States to certify to HHS that they are in compliance with these requirements. HHS, with the concurrence of DHS and the Commissioner of Social Security, may prescribe regulations establishing the frequency and manner of such certifications.
- Requires the Secretary of HHS, in coordination with SSA and others, to award grants to States to assist them in computerizing their birth and death records, to develop the capability to match birth and death records within and among States, and to note the fact of death on birth certificates of deceased persons. Also, establishes a formula for allocating the grant funds.
Section 7212. Drivers Licenses and Personal Identification Cards
- Requires the Department of Transportation (DOT), in consultation with the States and DHS, to promulgate regulations establishing minimum standards for drivers' licenses or personal identification cards issued by States. These regulations must be promulgated not later than 18 months after enactment.
- Beginning 2 years after the promulgation of these regulations, Federal agencies are prohibited from accepting, for any official purpose, a newly issued driver's license or personal identification card issued by a State unless such documents conform to the new standards.
- Requires the Secretary of Transportation to award grants to States to meet such standards.
- Requires DOT, in consultation with DHS, to establish a date after which Federal agencies may not accept a driver's license or personal identification card for any official purpose unless such document conforms to the new standards.
Section 7213. Social Security Cards and Numbers
- Not later than one year after the date of enactment, requires the Commissioner of Social Security to:
- Restrict the issuance of multiple replacement Social Security cards to any individual to 3 per year and 10 for the life of the individual. The Commissioner may allow for reasonable exceptions from these limits on a case-by-case basis in compelling circumstances.
- Establish minimum standards for the verification of documents or records submitted by an individual to establish eligibility for an original or replacement Social Security card, other than for enumeration at birth (EAB).
- Require independent verification of any birth record submitted by an individual to establish eligibility for a Social Security account number. SSNs assigned through the EAB process are excluded from this requirement. The Commissioner may allow for reasonable exceptions from independent verification on a case-by-case basis in compelling circumstances.
- Notwithstanding section 205(r) of the Social Security Act and any agreement entered into thereunder, requires the Commissioner to add death indicators to the Social Security number verification systems used by employers and State agencies issuing driver's licenses and identity cards. The Commissioner may also add death indicators to other verification routines as determined appropriate. The death indicators must be added no later than 18 months after enactment.
- Requires the Commissioner to add fraud indicators to the Social Security number verification systems used by employers and State agencies issuing drivers' licenses and identity cards. The Commissioner may also add fraud indicators to other verification routines as determined appropriate. The fraud indicators must be added no later than 36 months after enactment.
- Requires SSA, in consultation with DHS, to form an interagency task force for the purpose of further improving the security of Social Security cards and numbers. Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment, the task force must establish security requirements, including standards: for safeguarding cards from counterfeiting, tampering, alteration, and theft; for verifying documents submitted for the issuance of replacement cards; and actions towards increasing enforcement against the fraudulent use or issuance of Social Security numbers and cards. The Commissioner is also required to provide for the implementation of these security requirements.
- Requires the Commissioner to make improvements to the EAB application process as soon as practicable after the date of enactment. These improvements shall be designed to prevent the assignment of Social Security account numbers to unnamed children, the issuance of more than one Social Security number to the same child, and other opportunities for fraudulently obtaining a Social Security number. Not later than one year after enactment, the Commissioner must provide a report to Congress specifying the extent to which these improvements were made.
- Requires the Commissioner to conduct a study to determine options for ensuring the integrity of the EAB process, including methods to reconcile hospital birth records with birth registrations submitted to State and local agencies and information provided to SSA. Not later than 18 months after enactment, the Commissioner must report to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance on the results of the EAB study, including recommendations for legislative changes as deemed necessary by the Commissioner.
Section 7214. Prohibition of the Display of Social Security Account Numbers on Drivers' Licenses or Motor Vehicle Registrations
- Prohibits Federal, State, and local governments from displaying SSNs, or any derivative thereof, on drivers' licenses, motor vehicle registrations, or other identification documents issued by State departments of motor vehicles.
Section 8403. Financial Disclosure and Records
- Not later than 180 days after enactment, requires the head of each agency to submit a Presidential appointment reduction plan to the President, the House Committee on Government Reform, and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
- The plan shall provide for the reduction of the number of positions within each agency that requires an appointment by the President with Senate confirmation, and the number of levels of such positions within the agency.