Federal ID mandate challenged by lawmakers

Thursday, February 28th 2008, 6:29 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

It's supposed to keep us safe from terrorism, but most people have never even heard of it.

A federal mandate called Real ID is an identification system that could impact travel, what buildings you enter and even your bank account.

Right now, you need a driver's license to get on an airplane. According to the federal officials, that won't be enough after May 11, and that has travelers and Oklahoma lawmakers confused and concerned. 

Real ID was mandated by the Department of Homeland Security after 9-11 as a way to protect America.

It requires citizens to carry special ID, without it traveling by air would be impossible or so we're led to think.

State Sen. Randy Brogdon is against the Real ID Act.

"It is a blatant violation of the constitution it way oversteps the bounds to people's rights to privacy," Brogdon said.

That's why state lawmakers and the Governor passed a law to not comply with the federal ID mandate. 

Besides privacy issues, it would cost the state millions to issue citizens new IDs.

Airport official Jennifer James McColoum said she can't imagine a law that would shut down travel.

"Air travel is a reality in the world we live in and this is a very busy airport and to think of legislation breaking down to the process where people couldn't get in Oklahoma City, I just think that is highly unlikely," McColoum said.

The national ID card would use fingerprinting imaging and biometric facial recognition.

Oklahoma isn't the only state fighting the mandate, 39 other states have opted out. Oklahoma has filed an extension for a December 2009 deadline.