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Three-month grace period given for REAL ID compliance

Nick Oxford / Red Dirt Report
A TSA agent checks an Oklahoma driver's license at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
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NORMAN, Okla. -- October 10th was set to be the deadline for Oklahoma to bring its identification cards into compliance with the REAL ID Act, but to due to extenuating circumstances, all non- compliant states with extensions expiring in October will be in a “grace period” until Jan. 22, 2018, allowing residents of the state to continue to board domestic flights and access federal buildings.

Michael McNutt, Communications Director for the Governor’s office said, “The governor’s office has been notified that the department has a high level of attention being given to the aftermath of the hurricanes as well as other recent events. As a result, it is unclear if the department will be able to respond to Oklahoma by October 10, the date the previous waiver expires.”

The state was previously granted an extension in June, running until the present, but Oklahoma Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson said that the state would need at least two years to become fully compliant with REAL ID standards.

The extensions allow Oklahomans to continue to access federal buildings and board domestic flights, activities that would have been impossible without a REAL ID-compliant license.

In 2007, Oklahoma passed a law prohibiting the implementation of REAL ID in the state, but ten years later, House Bill 1845 was signed into law, creating a two-tiered ID system, giving Oklahomans a choice between a license that is REAL ID-compliant and one that is not.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 was attached as a rider to military spending bill H.R. 1268, after a failed first attempt to pass the Act on its own. Detractors called this action deceitful, as there had been no debate on the Act’s merits before being signed into law.

According to DHS, the purpose of REAL ID is to create a more secure form of identification to deter the forging of fake ID’s by terrorist organizations and other criminals.

Opponents, however, say that the data of US citizens will be less safe as it will be stored in a centralized database. The various security breaches of other government databases, including the 2015 Office of Personnel Management data breach, proves the danger to the public of putting everything in one central hub, according to opponents.

Opponents also believe that the ID’s will be at greater risk of ID theft since the greater amount of personal information contained in them will make them a high-value target. Opponents also believe that the REAL ID database will become a repository for ever greater amounts of information on American citizens, and the activities that require a REAL ID will continue to grow.

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Shane Smith

Shane Smith is an accountant and freelance writer with a bachelor's degree in economics from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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