Another Real ID extension? What it means for Oklahomans

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The governor’s office said the State of Oklahoma is getting another extension in order to become Real ID compliant.

Real ID is meant to make identification cards more difficult to forge. It was passed back in 2005 in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

But, in 2007, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a law forbidding Real ID. Then, in 2017, they walked back that decision and started working on becoming compliant.

Oklahoma is one of four states that are still not Real ID ready.

“If we had started this thing two years ago, we wouldn’t be in this boat,” said David Ostrowe, secretary of Digital Transformation and Administration.

Ostrowe said Governor Stitt’s office is working hard to play catch up after years of Oklahoma pushing back when it comes to complying with the Real ID system, an ID that will be needed to access federally-owned facilities including airports.

“Be patient, we are running, the governor is directly involved,” Ostrowe said.

The Department of Homeland Security has said all states must be in line with the new system by October 2019. But, Oklahoma will not be.

Ostrowe said Stitt has requested to extend that window to October 2020. And, he said the request has been granted.

However, officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told News 4 that the agency has yet to receive an extension request.

“Oklahoma was notified by DHS last month of the extension criteria for approving any extensions beyond the current expiration of October 10, 2019. DHS has not received an extension request from Oklahoma yet but is expecting one soon,” the statement from DHS read.

Pre-registration will be available by January online. Oklahomans will need to fill out all the necessary information, like what’s on your current driver license.

Real IDs will be issued starting in April in Oklahoma.

“It’s a short window for an entire state to go through compliance from April to October. That’s a lot of people we have to get through the process,” Ostrowe said.

For now, Ostrowe is confident Oklahomans won’t run into any problems accessing federal buildings and airports in Oklahoma.

“Homeland Security has told us we have an extension, so you will not have an issue at Will Rogers (Airport),” Ostrowe said.

But, beginning in October, returning from a trip from another airport could be a problem.

“If you have a passport, my recommendation is carry it,” Ostrowe said.

Per the 2017 legislation, Oklahomans will still be allowed to obtain a regular Oklahoma license without the Real ID chip.

“My fear is that aunt Susie, that needs to travel out of state, will assume she has a Real ID, chose to get a regular ID  and therefore might not be admitted through the airport security. At some point, we have to clean up that legislation as well,” Ostrowe said.

Is Real ID the right move for Oklahomans? That’s is still up in the air.

“I suppose it would be a safety measure for some of these crazy people out there lately, it seems like we have quite a few of those,” said Terry from Chandler.

“I think it’s a government-controlled policy, takes away my freedom,” said Roseanna from Duncan.

Officials said their will be a $5 up-charge on new Real IDs. The standard ‘chip-less’ Oklahoma Drivers Licenses will also cost $5 more.

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