OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State leaders say they are working to make sure that Oklahomans aren’t caught off guard when TSA agents begin implementing the REAL ID Act next year.
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. In the past, officials have said that without those extensions, federal agencies would have been prohibited from accepting Oklahoma driver’s licenses as proper identification cards.
In 2017, House Bill 1845 was signed into law, which would give Oklahomans the choice of either getting a REAL ID-compliant license or keeping their current Oklahoma driver’s license.
Oklahoma is still one of just a few states that are not REAL ID-compliant.
In less than one year, officials with the TSA say the REAL ID Act will be in full effect at airports and government facilities across the country.
“We only really have 11 months to get Oklahoma ready,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said on Wednesday.
TSA officials say the REAL ID Act will be implemented on Oct. 1, 2020. While travelers will be able to use U.S. passports or military IDs to board flights in 2020, they fear the millions of Americans who use state-issued IDs will be caught off guard if they are not already REAL ID compliant.
At this point, officials believe around 650,000 Oklahomans will need a REAL ID before Oct. 1, 2020.
If you fly regularly, Gov. Stitt stresses that you might want to go ahead and get a passport to avoid being rushed since the state will only begin issuing REAL IDs in the middle of next year.
Officials told News 4 they plan to begin issuing REAL IDs on April 30, 2020 at select locations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The state will then be able to issue REAL IDs across Oklahoma by September of 2020.
When REAL IDs are issued in Oklahoma, Gov. Stitt says that residents will need to show multiple forms of identification like a birth certificate, Social Security card, and utility bills in order to get a REAL ID-compliant license.
In all, Oklahomans will need to provide proof of identity, proof of Social Security, and two proofs of residency.
“We are committed to making this happen,” Gov. Stitt said.
Officials stress that even if you are renewing your license, you will need to show those documents. If you don’t have those documents on hand, state leaders say you should start working to obtain them as quickly as possible.
As the deadline approaches, state leaders say they are doing everything they can to make sure Oklahomans will still be able to fly.
“Our state will be ready,” Stitt said.