Lawmakers Meet On REAL ID Compliance

Wednesday, November 18th 2015, 5:04 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Your Oklahoma driver’s license is already a big topic of debate at the state Capitol.  

Lawmakers now have one more session to decide how or if licenses will become compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. 

A last minute extension by the federal government gave the state one more year to become compliant. If the state isn’t compliant by the time the extension expires in October 2016, it will likely mean Oklahomans won’t be able to use their license to go through security in a federal building or get on an airplane.

A handful of lawmakers met Wednesday on the issue.

11/18/2015 Related Story: Lawmakers Working To Make Oklahoma REAL ID Complaint

State Department of Public Safety Director Michael Thompson told lawmakers they are working hard on a plan to make Oklahoma driver's licenses compliant. 

“The thing that’s halting us from being compliant with REAL ID is the law that was passed in 2007,” he said.

The Oklahoma law prevents DPS from complying with the REAL ID Act. When it was passed, Oklahoma lawmakers were concerned with the federal government overstepping their bounds, as well as privacy and religious issues.

Those concerns remain today, but now, lawmakers will have to consider repealing the 2007 law.

Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, called the meeting. When asked if he thinks the legislature is finally going to get this taken care of he answered, “Yes, I do. It will get taken care of one way or another.”

Thompson said this could be their last chance.

“I really believe that we as a state are going to have a difficult time getting another extension beyond 2016,” he said.

Thompson also said today the state missed out on  "millions and millions" of dollars in federal grant money when they failed to comply with the act. The state will now have to pay the costs of compliance.