Missouri has been granted more time to comply with the federal Real ID law.
The Department of Homeland Security has extended Missouri’s grace period through Jan. 21, 2019, to satisfy stricter identification requirements under the REAL ID Act. Missouri’s current extension is valid through Oct. 10, 2018.
Missouri Department of Revenue Director Joel Walters released a statement Tuesday, saying that “federal agencies will accept Missouri-issued driver licenses and ID cards for official purposes, including domestic air travel” through the new grace period.
Walters said the state remains on track to be fully compliant with the REAL ID Act by March 2019, which indicates another waiver will have to be sought to fill the gap after the new extension ends Jan. 21 of next year.
A law passed in 2017 lets Missourians choose whether they want a non-compliant driver’s license or a REAL ID for access to planes, military bases, and federal facilities. The action will put Missouri in compliance with the federal law once the state implements the new policy.
Some Missourians had problems last year getting into federal facilities and military bases and had to use a non-compliant ID with additional identification, such as a birth certificate or Social Security card, to gain access.
Real ID dates back to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was 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.
A small coalition of legislators, primarily Republicans, had protested against the federal law by stating privacy concerns. The proposal signed by Greitens last year 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.
Alisa Nelson contributed to this report