Officials: Oklahoma receives final REAL ID extension before deadline

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Authorities with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety announced that the state has received another extension to become compliant with the REAL ID Act. 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. In 2007, Oklahoma passed a law that said our state wouldn’t comply with the REAL ID Act, citing concerns about how residents’ information was stored. Over the last few years, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given Oklahoma several extensions to meet the requirements in the REAL ID Act. Without the extensions, federal agencies would have been prohibited from accepting Oklahoma driver’s licenses as proper identification cards. Oklahoma is one of just a few states that are not REAL ID-compliant. In August, Oklahoma state leaders told News 4 that they had requested an extension until October 2020. “According to the latest timeline given to the Department of Public Safety by the vendor, the project maintains its progression toward the estimated target date of April 2020 for initial rollout. Additionally, full statewide implementation will be completed by September 2020,” the extension request read. On Thursday, officials with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted the state’s REAL ID extension through Sept. 18, 2020. That means the federal government will continue to recognize Oklahoma driver’s licenses and ID cards, which allows Oklahomans to fly on commercial airlines and enter federal facilities. “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,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “This will be the final extension needed for our state to become fully compliant with federal law, as Oklahoma is set to begin issuing the updated IDs later next year. We are prioritizing this project in order to ensure our citizens can continue to use their Oklahoma licenses to travel seamlessly across the U.S. and enter federal facilities. By implementing REAL ID, we are also making sure our state remains competitive, successfully attracts new businesses, and retains our hardworking people as we continue to make Oklahoma a Top Ten state.” Officials told News 4 they plan to begin issuing REAL IDs on April 30, 2020 in select locations.
On Tuesday, officials with the TSA reminded travelers that the REAL ID Act would be fully implemented on Oct. 1, 2020.

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