Tuesday, August 7, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today officially asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) to expand the state’s REAL ID extension until Oct. 10, 2019.
If approved, the federal government will continue to recognize Oklahoma driver’s licenses and ID cards until that time. Oklahoma’s current REAL ID extension expires on Oct. 10, 2018.
Oklahoma and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) are working with a vendor to develop a system to issue REAL ID-compliant credentials, REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card. However, the estimated completion and implementation date of the system is April 30, 2020.
The extension would allow Oklahoma driver’s license and identification card holders to use their documents to gain entry into federal buildings and military installations, and to board commercial aircraft.
“Oklahoma is requesting an additional extension to allow our citizens to continue to be able to use their existing driver’s licenses and ID cards to gain access to federal facilities and military installations until the new state system is in place,” wrote Fallin in her letter to James W. McCament, deputy undersecretary for strategy, policy and plans for USDHS. “Without an extension, the state will suffer adverse economic consequences and jeopardize the regular daily activities of many of our citizens. Oklahoma is actively working towards compliance, but will need additional time to complete the implementation of the new system.”
Oklahoma also is committed to participate in quarterly progress reviews with USDHS, and to provide updates as necessary.
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to make driver's licenses harder to forge. Oklahoma legislators in 2007 passed a bill forbidding the state from meeting provisions of the act.
Lawmakers in 2017 passed legislation that was signed by the governor, which allowed state officials to begin work on building a compliant system. That includes training tag agents and creating a centralized office to handle card manufacturing and storage.
There are 43 total requirements that must be met by states to be in full compliance. Oklahoma currently is in full compliance with 30 of those requirements, partial compliance with 12, and only one non-compliant. The one non-compliant is the final certification letter that the state can’t complete until it has the system in place to issue the documents.
If Oklahoma is not granted this extension, then driver’s license and identification card holders will need a U.S. passport or other acceptable federal document to gain access to federal buildings and military installations, or to board commercial aircraft.