One of this session’s most pressing matters for lawmakers has been finding a REAL ID fix for Missouri’s state-issued driver’s licenses and IDs. This is due to the fact that the Department of Homeland Security will implement the next phase of the federal REAL ID Act on Jan. 22, 2018, at which time our Missouri licenses will no longer be considered a valid form of ID for boarding domestic flights. Earlier this week, the Senate gave approval to a measure that will give Missourians the option of choosing a REAL ID-compliant license.
Now back in the House awaiting a final vote, House Bill 151 allows the Department of Revenue to amend procedures for applying for a driver’s license or ID card in order to comply with the goals and standards of the REAL ID Act. The measure 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. In addition, applicants’ data cannot be stored on a server that is connected to the internet or sold for commercial purposes. Finally, the provisions of HB 151 will expire after five years unless renewed by the General Assembly.
Although lawmakers and the governor are continuing to push the federal government to change the REAL ID Act, no indication has been made as to if or when it may happen. As always, the Legislature’s main concern is protecting your rights as a citizen. House Bill 151 creates a path forward for Missourians who choose to get a REAL ID-compliant license while preserving the privacy of citizens who decide to keep using their current driver’s license. This measure will immediately take effect upon the governor’s signature.
Those preferring to use their current Missouri state-issued ID still have the option of presenting an alternative form of ID 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).
I always appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-2173. You may write to me at Senator Ron Richard, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, 201 W. Capitol Ave., Rm. 326, Jefferson City, MO 65101; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit me on the Web at www.senate.mo.gov/richard.