State ID Changes Sent To Senate For Approval
After criticizing a plan to bring state ID's into compliance with federal regulations, an Oklahoma Senate Panel sent the proposal to the state senate for a final vote.
Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee criticized the costs of bringing state drivers licenses into line with federal anti-terrorism laws, but sent the plan on after a 34-9 vote that culminated more than an hour of debate. The proposal had been previously passed by the State House of Representatives, and if approved by the full senate, will be sent onto Governor Mary Fallin, who is expected to sign the bill into law if given the chance. Fallin has previously state that REAL ID compliance was a priority, urging the Oklahoma Legislature to pass compliance laws in 2017.
Opponents of the bill claim that REAL ID is an invasion of privacy, allowing federal agencies to compile a data base in order to monitor U.S. citizens.
The state of Oklahoma is one of 7 states that have been issued several extensions by the federal government to bring state IDs into compliance with the 2005 law that was signed by former President George W. Bush as a response to the 9/11 attacks. A commission that reported on those attacks sited investigators that stated that the 9/11 hijackers secured false ID's from several states. A commission was then formed that recommended that the federal government develop standards for state ID's to help combat terrorism and fraud. Federal laws impose tougher requirements to prove legal residency in order to secure a state driver's license or ID card.
The hold up in Oklahoma is a 2007 state law preventing full implementation of REAL ID. The federal law requires state IDs to contain security features such as holograms, and the 2007 state law prevents that. Oklahoma is one of seven states that have received limited extensions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in order to comply with the federal law. Currently, state IDs are valid at federal agencies, but only through June 6th. And as of January of 2018, Oklahoma state IDs will no longer be accepted as valid identification to board a commercial aircraft. Pennsylvania, Kentucky, South Carolina, Virginia, Alaska and Oregon are also facing similar decertification of their state IDs.