OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahomans may not be able to fly with state-issued driver licenses in just nine days.
State leaders have kicked the can so far down the road to comply with the federal Real ID Act that a fifth extension is needed from the federal government to allow Oklahomans to continue to use their current driver licenses in airports, military bases and many federal buildings.
It was back in Governor Brad Henry's first term and years before the Oklahoma City Thunder existed that President George W. Bush signed Real ID into law.
"Right now, the current extension we have runs out October 10th, in 9 days," Department of Public Safety spokesperson Sarah Stewart said.
Oklahoma has been granted extension after extension to comply with the federal law meant to strengthen security measures after 9/11.
Back in 2007, our state legislature passed a bill forbidding the state to get in compliance.
At the time, they said they were concerned about privacy issues.
Ten years later, in 2017, News 4 talked with then-state senator David Holt.
"I understand the resistance to federal overreach, but there are also just some practical elements here. We're not going to be able to fly," Holt told News 4.
That's when the legislature finally passed a bill allowing the Department of Public Safety to start working on a Real ID system.
Just last month, Governor Kevin Stitt replaced the regime heading DPS in part because he said Real ID wasn't getting done.
“The Department of Public Safety and its new leadership are working quickly and effectively to update systems and take the necessary steps to implement REAL ID. The governor is thankful that the department has prioritized the REAL ID project in order to ensure Oklahomans can continue to use their Oklahoma licenses across the U.S., and looks forward to the implementation of the updated IDs later next year,” said Baylee Lakey, communications director for the governor's office.
"For people who don't have a passport and are waiting to fly domestically, we know this is nail biting for them. We don't like it either, but we're hopeful we'll get that extension, and we're hopeful we'll hear about it any day now," Stewart said.
Stewart also told News 4 that DPS is having to modernize its system to store all the data at the state level that'll be collected in connection with Real ID.
DPS leaders plan to have the new system in place in April 2020.
There are several new forms of identification if you go get a new Real ID-compliant card.
You'll have to have proof of your identity, such as a driver license, and proof of Social Security, such as a Social Security card. But now you'll also have to have two forms of proof of residency.
In addition, you'll have to bring in any proof of name change if your current name is different than what's on your birth certificate. That means you'll have to bring a marriage license or divorce decree or any other court order that reflects the name change.