Military bases may soon turn back Oklahoma license holders

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It seems military bases have run out of patience with Oklahoma.

It’s an issue we’ve been talking about for some time now; a date when Oklahomans can’t use their driver’s license to board an airplane.

It’s all part of the Real ID Act, which is a coordinated effort by the states and the federal government to improve the reliability of state issued ID’s.

It’s meant to inhibit terrorists’ ability to get fake ID’s.

However, Oklahoma passed a law in 2007 that said our state wouldn’t comply with the Real ID Act.

Critics say they are concerned about how our information will be stored.

After several attempts to get the law reversed failed this legislative session, Oklahomans are now facing a deadline.

Officials say Jan. 22, 2018 is when you must have a driver’s license that is compliant with the Real ID Act in order to board an airplane.

However, Oklahoma did not get a bill passed this legislative session to allow us to do that.

“There’s like no way for us to change our mind?” asked Alexander.

Sen. David Holt had a bill that would have repealed parts of the 2007 law that forbids Oklahoma from complying with Real ID.

It also would have given citizens the choice to have a Real ID compliant license or a non-compliant one.

However, the bill never made it out of the House.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson says we have an extension until October of this year.

He will ask for another one, but is not optimistic that Oklahoma will get it.

Thompson said the federal government is running out of patience with Oklahoma.

He says that although Oklahomans will be allowed to board planes using their Oklahoma driver’s licenses until Jan. 22, 2018, that same ID will not be accepted at a military base.

Now, starting Oct. 10, it’s likely many Oklahomans trying to visit military bases and other federal facilities will be turned away because their driver’s licenses don’t stand up to federal requirements adopted 11 years ago, the Enid News and Eagle reprots.

To access military bases and federal facilities, inside or outside the state, Oklahomans will have to flash a U.S. passport or another valid form of federal ID.

Oklahoma could still get something passed in next year’s legislative session to comply with the Real ID Act, but it would be too late to make that Jan. 2018 deadline.

Commissioner Thompson says it would probably take our state two years to get everything in place to issue the new driver’s licenses.

Bottom line, Sen. Holt has advice for Oklahomans who are truly worried about being able to travel by air or visiting a military base.

“Anybody who is really concerned about it, unfortunately, I would probably recommend they consider getting a passport,” said Holt.

A passport or military ID are both considered Real ID compliant and would work to get you on an airplane or military base.