Post by: Chief News Editor | Published: September 27, 2016 , 8:25 am | Category: WORLD
U.S.A.-Time is running out for states to issue ID cards and driver’s licenses with new security features that satisfy a federal law requiring tamper-proof identification.
States around the nation have pushed back against the federal mandate, reluctant to spend taxpayer dollars on the updates or concerned about personal privacy. Some legislatures, including those in Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Oregon, have resorted to enacting laws that ban compliance with the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005.
Other states have asked the Department of Homeland Security for more time to comply with the law. Twenty-four states have such time extensions, but they expire Oct. 10. Minnesota, Missouri and Washington are non-compliant states without extensions.
Once the extensions expire, it will be 90 days before a compliant ID is required to access federal facilities, said Homeland Security press secretary Aaron Rodriguez. Extension renewals are ultimately up to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Rodriguez said he was unaware of any extension requests that have been denied, though federal officials rejected Minnesota’s request this year.
Rodriguez said that to get another extension, states must demonstrate that they’re making progress on REAL ID compliance. “We don’t want these extensions to become a never-ending thing,” Rodriguez said. “We want to see some sort of good faith going forward.”
More than 132 million licensed drivers live in the 27 states that don’t comply with the REAL ID Act. The law requiring states to make tamper-proof IDs was passed in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Updated IDs are already required to enter nuclear power plants, military bases and some federal buildings, and they’ll be necessary to board domestic commercial flights beginning in 2018. (Passports work too.)
For some states, updating IDs remains politically unpopular.
In Oregon, where a REAL ID Act ban passed overwhelmingly, legislators want the federal government to pay for the new IDs. Oregon DMV officials said it would cost millions of state taxpayer dollars to make the new ID cards, prompting Sen. Lee Beyer, a Democrat who chairs the Oregon Senate’s business and transportation committee, to say it would be “a cold day in hell” before Oregon’s REAL ID ban is lifted.
In other states, like Oklahoma — where come Oct. 10 state IDs can no longer be used to access military bases — lawmakers have concerns that REAL ID is an attempt to build a national identification database. Homeland Security denies those claims on its website.
Despite the extensions that lapse Oct. 10, air travelers needn’t adjust their plans just yet. The earliest that an ID from a compliant state will be needed to get through airport security is January 2018.
Follow Gordon Friedman on Twitter: @gordonrfriedman
NEWS COLLECTED FROM USA TODAY.