Oklahoma Not Ready To Comply With REAL ID Act
TULSA, Oklahoma - The deadline to get on board with the Federal REAL ID Act is Saturday, but Oklahoma isn’t ready.
That's when the state’s extension to comply expires, but Governor Mary Fallin said your state driver’s license should allow you to get into federal buildings and fly.
Right now, Fallin's office says no federal facilities in Oklahoma have notified the state that Oklahoma residents will be affected in any way.
However, this is just the third phase; it’s the fourth phase - coming in 2016 - that could affect Oklahomans who travel.
Virginia Jones owns the downtown Tulsa tag agency and gets questions about the REAL ID Act regularly.
"Their main concern is flying, and, is that going to be approved when they get to the airport," she said.
The act is a federal initiative, put into place by the Bush Administration back in 2005 as a way to combat terrorists falsifying identifications.
Right now, Oklahoma IDs do not fit the standards of the Real ID Act, which could possibly leave Oklahomans behind during the next two phases. The first, having proper ID to get into federal facilities; the second, coming sometime in 2016, to get on a commercial airline.
If that happens, only a passport would work for Oklahomans who fly.
Tulsan, Joe Morey said, "Yeah, now I'm definitely going to apply for my passport, just in case. Just so I can get up and go when I want to."
Back in 2007, Oklahoma lawmakers enacted a statute that prohibits the Department of Public Safety from complying with the REAL ID Act over concerns that the mandate invades individuals' privacy.
"People are very independent. They don't like intrusion into their personal lives, and I see that," said Tulsan Alan Whitehead.
The Homeland Security website says the REAL ID mandate sets a minimum standard for all state IDs in order to make them harder to duplicate.
In a statement, Department of Homeland Security spokesperson, Amanda DeGroff said:
"The Department of Homeland Security is committed to working with state officials to ensure compliance with REAL ID Act standards or to grant a state an extension. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to make driver’s licenses and other identification more secure and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act. We will continue to work with states ahead of Phase Four enforcement, which will affect identification requirements for boarding aircraft.
"DHS is in the process of scheduling the start of Phase Four and will make that announcement by the end of this year. Consistent with the phased enforcement schedule released in 2013, DHS is currently reviewing the progress of states in implementing the REAL ID standards and evaluating earlier enforcement phases to inform the timing and nature of Phase Four. DHS will ensure that the traveling public has ample notice before any changes are made that could possibly affect their travel planning. That notice will include information on the process for individuals with a non-compliant driver’s license or identification card to be able to travel by aircraft. Until DHS announces details about Phase Four enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration will continue to accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards from all states.
"However, as previously announced, Phase 3B begins October 10, 2015 – after which Federal agencies are prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by noncompliant states without an extension (currently American Samoa, New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Louisiana) for purpose of accessing military bases and Federal facilities rated at a facility security level of three or greater. DHS recommends that persons with driver’s licenses and identification cards from such states contact Federal facilities that they plan to visit in advance to determine what forms of identification may be accepted.
"The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards."
Right now, Jones says she's just waiting.
"There's nothing from our end that we can do. We're just waiting on information from the Department of Public Safety," she said.
Local tag agencies will be meeting with representatives from DPS to learn more about the REAL ID Act.
Tuesday, state senate Democrats filed a bill to get Oklahoma in compliance with the mandate.