“Let’s fix it now and keep people from running into the water,” Deadline looms large over Oklahoma

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As of this Sunday, your state issued driver’s license may not be enough to prove legal identification in federal buildings.

The Real ID Act was passed back in 2005 but, even now, Oklahoma licenses do not comply.

If nothing changes by the end of 2015, there’s a chance Oklahomans will need a passport to simply board a plane.

Democratic leadership has now introduced a new bill that will once again try and make the state Real ID compliant.

It’s a deadline, 10 years in the making.

“We can keep meeting and try to figure out a way to get around it, or we can accept the reality that this law goes into effect, it has real ramifications for Oklahomans,” said Senator and Democratic Leader John Sparks.

The Real ID Act, signed by President Bush in 2005, is nearing full enforcement, meaning Oklahomans could have a tough time at their nearby courthouse.

If nothing is changed in the coming months, residents will only be able to access federal buildings using their military ID, passport or a few select other IDs.

But, an Oklahoma state license won’t get you through the door.

In 2007, the state passed legislation, telling agencies that issue IDs to not make them Real ID compliant.

“It could require a change on how we issue a document,” said Capt. Paul Timmons with the Department of Public Safety. “It’s not just the card itself, it’s the process.”

A bill, aimed at repealing that legislation, passed the senate before stalling in the house earlier this year.

“It went over to the house, got caught up in political grandstanding and died in the house,” Sparks said.

The state was given an extension to comply with the law, however that extension expires on Saturday.

Governor Mary Fallin’s office doesn’t expect Oklahomans will be affected, releasing the following on Wednesday:

1. While it is true the state’s extension to comply with REAL ID does expire this Saturday, October 10, no federal facilities in Oklahoma have notified the state that Oklahoma residents will be affected in any way. Several facilities have actively confirmed with the state that an Oklahoma driver’s license is a sufficient form of identification. We do not expect any immediate impact on Oklahoma residents within the state of Oklahoma as a result of the current extension expiring.

2. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety recently requested a continuation of the state’s REAL ID extension.

3. Fallin and lawmakers continue to discuss solutions that would ensure Oklahomans are not subject to inconveniences when accessing federal buildings or when travelling in the future.

The clock continues to tick even louder for legislators.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, there’s a chance at some point next year Oklahomans won’t be able to board planes with non-compliant licenses alone.

They’ll, instead, have to bring other forms of ID.

With SB 865, Sparks hopes Oklahoma can finally get on the road toward compliance.

“We know this bridge is gonna fall, but we’re not gonna fix the bridge,” Sparks said. “Let’s fix it now and keep people from running into the water.”

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