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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The REAL ID deadline: NOW

A handful of states have yet to adopt the REAL ID Act, causing problems for drivers from those states, including truckers. If an extension for compliance with the REAL ID Act is not granted by Jan. 10, driver’s licenses, identification cards and CDLs issued by the states of Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri will no longer be accepted for access to federal buildings which includes nuclear power plants and most federal facilities, including military bases – places frequently serviced by the trucking industry.

The Transportation Security Administration deferred all questions on the matter to the Department of Homeland Security. Meanwhile, the DHS steered away from answering specific questions but did offer the following statement:

“The Department of Homeland Security is working with state officials to ensure their compliance with REAL ID Act standards and to grant a state extension where warranted,” DHS spokeswoman Amanda DeGroff said.

“Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri have not yet provided adequate justification to receive an extension on compliance with the requirements of the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005. As of Oct. 10, 2015, federal agencies may only accept driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by states that are compliant with the REAL ID Act or have an extension for accessing most federal facilities (including military bases) and entering nuclear power plants. Starting on Jan. 10, 2016, driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri will not be accepted for these purposes. Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri residents visiting a federal facility can provide another form of identification or follow procedures that the facility allows for persons without acceptable identification.

“Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri can request an extension at any time if there are new developments or additional relevant information regarding the steps they are taking to comply with the REAL ID Act requirements.”

Regarding secure areas of ports and whether or not a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) would be enough for access, the DHS reiterated that acceptable forms of identification are determined by each facility and that residents from noncompliant states can provide another form of ID or follow the facility’s procedures.

The REAL ID Act, which was passed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, requires set standards for such identifications as driver’s licenses. Minnesota has already been declared noncompliant.

States were originally asked to comply before 2010, but implementation has continually been delayed.

However, the DHS appears ready to begin enforcement. Driver’s licenses from noncompliant states could no longer be an accepted form of identification on commercial flights.

“The Transportation Security Administration continues to accept all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, including those from Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri,” the statement from the DHS continued. “DHS is in the process of scheduling plans for REAL ID enforcement at airports and will ensure that the traveling public has ample notice, at least 120 days, before any changes are made that might affect their travel. The REAL ID Act places the responsibility for action on the state to provide state-issued identification that meets the Act’s security standards.”

Missouri passed a law in 2009 prohibiting it from complying with the REAL ID Act.

“The real-world implication of a nationalized ID system with biometric photo data that allows for long distance identification and tracking of residents is disturbing,” Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said in a recent statement. “That’s why in 2009, the Missouri General Assembly passed HB 361 to stand athwart the federal government’s continued encroachment on Missourians’ liberties