State lawmakers will have another extension to implement the 2005 Real ID Act.
The act, passed in 2005, is still not being implemented because Oklahoma lawmakers refused to comply with the federal law.
“In 2007, the Oklahoma Legislature passed a law prohibiting the Department of Public Safety from implementing the REAL ID Act,” the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety said. “DPS was specifically prohibited from implementing any provisions that would comply with this Federal law.”
The Department of Homeland Security said the Real ID act was intended to combat terrorism by providing a more sufficient way to identify terrorists attempting to enter America.
Passed by Congress in 2005, the Real ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses. The extension gave Oklahoma an additional month to implement the law.
If Oklahoma does not comply with the federal law by the next extension date then the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is prepared to ask for another extension.
The American Civil Liberties Union has opposed the Real ID Act, saying it feared the law may be an infringement of privacy for all Americans.
“If fully implemented, the law would facilitate the tracking of data on individuals and bring government into the very center of every citizen’s life,” the ACLU said in a statement.
The ACLU said the new law could also mean longer lines at the department of motor vehicles, a more hectic process for individuals, and an increase in expenses for state governments.
For these reasons the ACLU believes the Real ID act should be repealed.
The act does not affect driving within the state of Oklahoma, voter registration, or entering a federal building that does not require identification.
Senator David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, said that whether state legislatures like the Real ID act or not they are required to implement the law in order for Oklahomans to avoid inconveniences.
“Its academic and moot. Whether you like the act or not, the reality is it’s federal law,” Holt said.
“I wanted to give [Oklahomans] the liberty to choose. Whether it’s right or not, it’s up to us senators to implement federal law.”
Holt said personally that the intent was good, and it attempted to address what happened on 9/11 by avoiding the use of fake IDs by terrorists.
“We’ve passed legislation to implement the Real ID Act, but it’ll take couple of years to be fully implemented,” Holt said. “We’ve done all we can right now, so we’re optimistic.”
Holt believes the federal government will continue to grant extensions on the act until they can get Oklahomans proper ID that meets the federal standards.