Oklahoma Denied Extension To Comply With Real ID Act

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Courtesy KFOR

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma citizens will soon need a passport if they plan to fly anywhere, because Oklahoma drivers’ licenses will no longer be accepted as a form of identification.

On Tuesday (Oct. 11), the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety learned that a request for an extension of the deadline to comply with the Real ID act had been denied, according to KFOR.

The Real ID Act is an effort between the states and the federal government to improve the reliability of state-issued IDs. The law is also meant to keep terrorists from getting fake IDs.

The act was passed in 2005, giving states more than 10 years to follow the stricter laws for licenses. Oklahoma is currently operating under a grace period that ends on Jan. 29, 2017.

However, Oklahoma has yet to comply with the act and will not get another extension.

Starting on Jan. 30, 2017, the law will take full effect, which means Oklahomans will not be allowed to enter a federal building, military base or courthouse with their state-issued licenses. They will need a form of identification that complies with the Real ID act, such as a passport or a military-issued ID.

The grace period expires a little later for flights.

Starting on Jan. 22, 2018, drivers’ licenses and state IDs issued by non-compliant states will not be accepted to board a plane — not even for domestic travel.

This leaves the state legislature with a tight deadline to pass a law to become compliant with the Real ID act. Last legislative session, the Oklahoma House and Senate both passed bills that would have made the state compliant before the deadline. However, both of those measures failed when neither side could agree on the wording of the bill.

On Tuesday (Oct. 11) Oklahoma representatives announced a plan to introduce a bill that would bring the state’s ID laws up to par.

However, it could take up to two years after a bill is passed for the state to actually become compliant and to get the licenses in the hands of citizens, officials said.

To read more about the issue on our affiliate KFOR’s website, click here.