OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Tuesday to expand the state’s REAL ID extension until October 10, 2019.
If approved, the federal government will continue to recognize Oklahoma driver’s licenses and ID cards until that time.
Oklahoma and the Department of Public Safety are working with a vendor to develop a system to issue REAL ID-compliant credentials, REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card. However, the estimated completion and implementation date of the system is April 30, 2020.
The extension would allow Oklahoma driver’s license and identification card holds to use their documents to gain entry into federal buildings and military installations, and to board commercial planes.
“Oklahoma is requesting an additional extension to allow our citizens to continue to be able to use their existing driver’s licenses and ID cards to gain access to federal facilities and military installations until the new state system is in place,” wrote Fallin in her letter to James W. McCament, deputy undersecretary for strategy, policy and plans for USDHS. “Without an extension, the state will suffer adverse economic consequences and jeopardize the regular daily activities of many of our citizens. Oklahoma is actively working towards compliance, but will need additional time to complete the implementation of the new system.”
The REAL ID Act was put in place in 2005 to improve the reliability of state issued ID’s, making it harder for terrorists to obtain fake identification.
However, Oklahoma passed a law in 2007 that said our state wouldn’t comply with the REAL ID Act, citing concerns about how residents’ information was stored.
If Oklahoma is not granted this extension, then driver’s license and identification card holders will need a U.S. passport or other acceptable federal document to gain access to federal buildings and military installations, or to board commercial aircraft.