General Assembly Passes REAL ID
JEFFERSON CITY — On May 11, the House passed House Bill 151, a bill that would bring Missouri into compliance with federal law. The Senate passed HB 151 earlier this week and sent the bill back to the House with amendments that addressed fees for obtaining a REAL ID and storage of information on databases.
“Given how much was at stake, REAL ID was one of the few issues for which the governor may have called a special session had the Legislature not passed a bill to remedy an impending situation whereby Missourians would not have been able to board commercial aircraft with their state-issued driver’s licenses,” said Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.
A special session notwithstanding, today would have been the last day the Legislature could pass legislation that would bring Missouri in compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. Passed by Congress to combat terrorism, the act requires state IDs, such as driver’s licenses, meet certain standards in order to be valid forms of identification for federal purposes.
Currently, January 2018 is the deadline for states to come into compliance with federal law. Should they not, residents of those states will not be allowed to use their state IDs to fly commercially, enter into some federal facilities and visit military bases. Under House Bill 151, a Missouri resident would have the option to get a state ID that is in compliance with the law.
“One of the good things about this bill is that a person does not need to get a compliant state ID to board a plane. If a person has a passport, for example, he or she can use that to prove identity,” noted Sen. Hoskins. “Moreover, at the heart of this bill is choice, and I am glad my colleagues and I recognized the importance of having people make their own choices when it comes to privacy and the fear of governmental overreach.”
With the House not passing the bill’s emergency clause, HB 151 will become effective August 2017, five months before the deadline.
For information about Sen. Hoskins, please visit his official Missouri Senate website at http://www.senate.mo.gov/mem21/.