Republican Governor Eric Greitens has signed into law a bill that lets Missourians choose whether they want a non-compliant driver’s license or a so-called REAL ID for access to planes, military bases and federal facilities. Greitens’ action will put Missouri in compliance with the federal law.
Some Missourians have had problems this year getting into federal facilities and military bases and have had to use a non-compliant ID with additional identification, such as a birth certificate or Social Security card, to gain access.
Real ID’s origins are tied to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and were recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The federal REAL ID Act, which was passed in 2005, requires stricter identification standards for homeland security and immigration purposes.
Missouri has received several extensions of the law because the state legislature failed to move forward on the issue. In 2016, the federal government notified the state that no more extensions would be granted.
Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, who sponsored the bill, expects the Missouri Department of Revenue, which will manage the implementation of the law, to begin issuing REAL IDs in 6 to 18 months.
“I expect the Department (of Revenue) will ask the federal government for an extension of the January timeframe to come into compliance,” he says.
Silvey says he has received inquiries about REAL ID from hundreds, if not thousands of Missourians.
“It was a tremendous amount of contact for a single issue,” Silvey tells Missourinet. “In my district, the only issue that rivaled it was opposition to Right-to-work.”
Silvey says there’s no difference in cost between a non-compliant license and a REAL ID. He says the costs will be minimal for storing personal information required by those seeking a REAL ID.
A small coalition of legislators, primarily Republicans, have protested against the federal law by stating privacy concerns. The proposal signed by Greitens bans Social Security numbers from being stored in databases that can be accessed by state or federal governments. It also adds criminal penalties for misuse of driver’s information or unlawful distribution of data.
The Missouri Legislature passed the measure during one of the final days of this year’s regular session. The bill becomes law on August 28. It was sponsored by Kansas City Republicans, Rep. Kevin Corlew and Sen. Ryan Silvey.