The Missouri State Senate gave approval earlier this month to a measure that will allow Missourians the option of choosing a Real ID-complaint license.
Without final passage of this bill, starting Jan. 22, 2018, Missouri state driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted as identification to board a plane, whether domestic or international.
Senate Leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) said the measure approved by the Senate is a balance between privacy and compliance, which lets the citizens choose what is best for them.
“The Legislature’s number one concern is protecting your rights as a citizen,” said Richard. “This measure creates a path forward for Missourians who want to fly using a photo ID while preserving the privacy of citizens who decide to keep using their current driver’s license.”
House Bill 151 allows the Department of Revenue to amend procedures, which will allow citizens to choose a Real ID-compliant license option. The measure also keeps privacy provisions in place, including not allowing social security numbers to be stored in a database accessible by any other state or the federal government. Applicants’ data also cannot be sold for commercial purposes.
Bill handler, Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City), said time was of the essence to approve this measure.
“If we don’t approve this Real ID-compliant option, we could create financial strain on families and severe negative economic impact on our state,” said Silvey. “This measure lets Missourians decide for themselves whether or not they want to comply with Real ID requirements.”
Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) said the Legislature explored many options trying to find a workable solution to Missouri’s noncompliant ID.
“The Legislature and the governor have pushed the federal government to change the policy, but so far, they have not made any indication that they will,” said Kehoe. “As it stands now, Missourians can’t get onto a military base using their driver’s license unless they have a second form of ID. They won’t be able to fly on a plane come January.
“It’s up to the Legislature to create a common-sense solution and allow a Real ID option. I appreciate Sen. Silvey’s efforts in crafting this reasonable and balanced solution.”
For those citizens who prefer to use their current noncompliant photo ID, there are still other options they can use to board a plane.
Missouri license alternatives compliant with Real ID:
• U.S. Passport
• U.S. Passport Card (costs $55 and is valid for 10 years. Doesn’t allow for international air travel).
• U.S. military ID
• DHS trusted traveler cards (these can be obtained for a nominal fee, as low as $50 for a five-year membership, and allow the holder to more quickly be processed through airport security).
The bill will now be sent to the House for final consideration. For more on this bill and others, visit www.senate.mo.gov.