“Grace period” biding time until DHS rules on Oklahoma’s latest REAL ID extension

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Federal agencies will continue to allow state identification cards and driver's licenses to be used for access to military bases and federal buildings in the state until next month, unless another state extension is approved.

After years of non-compliance and extensions from the federal government, Gov. Mary Fallin signed HB 1845 in to law earlier this year, putting Oklahoma on track for residents to obtain an identification card or driver's license compliant with the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005.

A secure form of government identification will eventually be required to fly commercially, enter military bases or federal buildings.

The state's last extension expired today.

Federal agencies will still accept driver's licenses and identification cards from eight states (whose limited extensions expired on June 6, 2017), including Oklahoma, until next month.

“Federal agencies, they’ve been advised that there’s going to be a grace period until July 10 and agencies will still be able to accept the drivers licenses and identification issued by the state of Oklahoma during that time," said Lt. Kera Philippi with Oklahoma Highway Patrol - a division of the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety tasked with administering the state's REAL ID law.

Nationally, 25 states are in compliance with the federal law; four states (including Missouri) are non-compliant; 13 states have extensions in place through early October, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

“The Department of Homeland Security, they received Oklahoma’s extension request and right now they’re nearing completion of that review," said Philippi. "And if it’s granted, it will buy us time through October – at which time we would likely file for another extension.”

The Department of Public Safety expects the state's REAL ID program to take 24-30 months until it is fully implemented. Until then, the state will continue to request extensions from the Department of Homeland Security.

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