COLUMBIA - Missourians are cleared to board planes using their drivers licenses for one more year. The state received a temporary waiver from the Department of Homeland Security that grants an extension for the state to comply with the Real ID Act.
Without the waiver, Missourians may not have been able to board airplanes without a passport or some other federally-approved ID beginning in January.
"I am pleased DHS has recognized the state’s efforts on this issue,” said Joel Walters, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, the state agency that oversees the issuance of driver licenses. “With this extension, Missourians will not be inconvenienced while we continue our work to improve state-issued identification,” he said.
Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005. It pushed the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government set standards for identification.
Under the act, electronic copies of proof-of-identity requirements, such as birth certificates or social security cards are kept by the government for a certain amount of time and then deleted from the database. Opponents of the act believed this was an invasion of privacy.
Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill in June that would allow those who have concerns about Real ID get a license that doesn't comply with federal regulations, while offering others compliant IDs.
Missouri will have until Oct. 10, 2018 to fall in line with the federal act.
"I do think Missouri should comply," Edna Lea Murry, a frequent traveler said. "I don't think one should have to have a passport to travel domestically. I also think about the cost that seniors and low-income people would have if they have to have both forms of ID."
According to DHS, starting in October of 2020, every passenger will need to present a Real-ID compliant license or another form of identification to travel domestically. So far, 26 states are compliant with the act.
The Real ID Act does not apply to voting or registering to vote, applying for federal benefits or being licensed by a state to drive.