Date: November 1, 2004
House Passes H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act
On October 8, 2004, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, by a vote of 282-134. The House then took up S. 2845, the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 (which includes the Senate version of 9/11 Commission Implementation Act). The House struck the language of the Senate-passed S. 2845, inserted in lieu thereof the language of H.R. 10, passed S. 2845, and requested a conference. The House-passed bill would provide 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 3052. Minimum Document Requirements and Issuance Standards for Federal Recognition
- Beginning three years after the date of enactment, would prohibit Federal agencies from accepting, for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting certain minimum requirements with regard to the issuance of driver's licenses and identification cards.
- Would require States to see a person's SSN (or verify that a person is not eligible for an SSN) prior to issuing a driver's license or ID card.
- Would require States to verify with the issuing agency the validity, issuance, and completeness of documents presented to establish name, age, and address of principal residence prior to issuing license or ID.
- Using the full account number, would require States to confirm with SSA any SSN presented.
- Would require States to resolve discrepancies and take appropriate action when an SSN is being used by more than one person in support of a driver's license.
Section 3063. Minimum Standards for Federal Recognition
- Beginning 3 years after the date of enactment, would prohibit Federal agencies from accepting, for any official purpose, a birth certificate issued by a State to any person unless the State is meeting certain requirements with regard to the issuance of birth certificates.
- Would require States to verify the name, date and location of birth, the mother's maiden name, and substantial proof of the requestor's identity from the requestor prior to issuing an authenticated copy of a birth certificate.
- Would require States to verify documents used to prove the identity of the requestor.
Section 3064. Establishment of Electronic Birth and Death Registration Systems
- Would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Commissioner of Social Security, to:
- Work with States to establish a common data/protocol for electronic birth and death registration systems. Coordinate requirements for such systems to align with a national model and ensure fraud prevention is built into such systems.
- Ensure that electronic systems for issuing birth certificates employ a common format.
- Establish uniform field requirements for State birth registries.
- Not later than 1 year after enactment, establish a process with Department of Defense (DoD) that will result in data sharing with States and SSA regarding death of U.S. military personnel and the birth and death of dependents.
- Not later than 1 year after enactment, establish a process with Department of State to improve registration, notification, and the sharing of data with the States and SSA regarding births and death of U.S. citizens abroad.
- Not later than 3 years after the date of establishment of databases provided under this section, require States to record and retain electronic records of pertinent identification information collected from requestors who are not the registrants.
- Not later than 6 months after enactment, submit a report to Congress on whether there is a need for Federal laws to address penalties for fraud and misuse of vital records and whether violations are enforced.
Section 3065. Electronic Verification of Vital Events
- Would assign to the Secretary of DHS the lead to implement electronic verification of birth and death as prescribed in Section 3064, above.
- Would require the Secretary of DHS to issue regulations to establish a means by which authorized Federal and State Agency users can query participating custodians of vital records nationwide to verify the contents of a paper birth certificate. Would require an electronic response from the custodian of records, including an indication if the matching birth record has been flagged "deceased."
The following six provisions are identical to provisions in H.R. 2971, the Social Security Number Privacy and Identity Theft Prevention Act of 2004.
Section 3071. Prohibition of the display of SSNs on driver's licenses and motor vehicle registrations
- Would prohibit Federal, State, and local governments from displaying SSNs, or any derivative thereof, on driver's licenses, motor vehicle registrations, or other identification documents issued by State departments of motor vehicles.
Section 3072. Independent verification of birth records provided in support of applications for Social Security Account Numbers
- Would direct the Commissioner to require independent verification of birth records in support of applications for SSNs, other than Enumeration at Birth (EAB) cases. The Commissioner may also provide regulations for reasonable exceptions in cases where there is minimum opportunity for fraud.
- Would require SSA to study feasibility and cost effectiveness of verifying all identification documents submitted for a replacement Social Security card. The study shall include the feasibility and costs associated with the development of electronic processes for third-party verifications of identification documents issued by Federal, State, and local agencies.
- Would require a report to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee regarding the results of the study not later than two years after the date of enactment. The report must contain recommendations for legislative changes as deemed necessary by the Commissioner.
Section 3073. Enumeration at Birth
- Would require the Commissioner to make improvements to the EAB process.
- Would require the Commissioner to provide to Congress a report specifying the extent to which the improvements were made not later than one year after enactment.
- Would require SSA to conduct an additional 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.
- Would require SSA to report, not later than 18 months after enactment, to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee on the results of the study, including recommendations for legislative changes as deemed necessary by the Commissioner.
Section 3074. Study relating to use of photographic identification in connection with applications for benefits, SSNs, and Social Security cards
- Would require SSA to study the best methods for requiring and obtaining photographic identification for all applicants for Title II benefits, SSN cards, or SSN replacement cards; and, of providing reasonable exceptions to this requirement. In addition, the study would evaluate the benefits and costs of instituting this requirement.
- Would require SSA to report to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee the results of the study no later than 18 months after the date of enactment. The report must include recommendations for legislative changes SSA considers necessary.
Section 3075. Restrictions on issuance of multiple replacement Social Security cards
- Would require the Commissioner to restrict the issuance of multiple replacement cards by SSA to any individual to 3 per year and 10 for life except in cases where the Commissioner determines there is minimal opportunity for fraud. Would require the Commissioner to issue regulations not later than one year after the date of enactment. Would require development of systems controls by the earlier of the issuance of the regulations or one year after the date of enactment.
Section 3076. Study relating to modification of the SSN numbering system to show work authorization status
- Would require the Commissioner after enactment, in consultation with DHS, to study the best method to modify the SSN issued to individuals who are not United States citizens, not admitted for permanent residency, and not authorized to work to show work authorization status.
- Would require the Commissioner to report to the Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee on the results of the study, including any feasible recommendations for modifying the SSN card as described above.
Section 5091. Requirement that agency rule making take into consideration impacts on individual privacy
- Would amend Title 5, US Code to add section 553a which would require agencies publishing proposed or final rulemaking to prepare and make available for public comment a privacy impact assessment that describes the impact of the proposed rule on the privacy of individuals, including the extent to which the rule provides for collection of "personally identifiable information", which specifically includes the SSN.
Section 5092. Chief Privacy Officers for agencies with Law Enforcement or Anti Terrorism functions
- Would establish a Chief Privacy Officer within each Federal agency with a law enforcement or anti terrorism function.
- The Chief Privacy Officer would be designated by the head of the agency