Missouri residents react to REAL ID restrictions

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COLUMBIA - Missouri residents soon will no longer be able to use their state driver's licenses as identification to get into most federal facilities, which leaves people with mixed reactions. 

KOMU 8 talked to people outside Columbia’s DMV and heard different opinions.

Mihir Khengar said he thinks this act will benefit Missourian’s safety.

“It’s for your safety, and it’s good to carry your passport because it is very easy to get a fake ID,” said Khengar. “A real passport has more information than a driver’s license, so it’s a good choice to carry your passport when traveling.” 

Others were not in agreement with this act.

“Our driver’s license should suffice for identification,” Stan Smith said.

Abhi Datta said it is very inconvenient.

Sam Buckins said this act shouldn’t be acceptable. Buckins said he isn’t eligible to get a passport because his child support payment is late. He worries what form of identification he can use if his license isn’t valid.

The state’s exemption from federal REAL ID requirements will come to an end Jan. 10, which was stated in a letter sent from the U.S Department of Homeland Security to Missouri’s revenue director. 

This means that Missouri driver's licenses cannot be accepted as ID at military bases and most other federal facilities.

The 2005 REAL ID Act set tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in order for state driver's licenses to be valid for federal purposes.

According to the Associated Press, Missouri was among several states that fought back by passing their own laws prohibiting compliance with Real ID.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland’s Security website, REAL ID does not apply to the following:

  • Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
  • Being licensed by a state to drive
  • Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations