Idaho lawmakers encouraged to address REAL ID problems

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Despite an extension that will allow Idaho residents to fly commercially and enter federal facilities in 2016, lawmakers are being asked to handle compliance issues with Idaho driver's licenses and the REAL ID Act.

Idaho-issued licenses and identification cards do not meet the 39 requirements that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants states to incorporate into their cards to come into compliance, The Coeur D'Alene Press reports ( ).

States across the nation are in various stages of compliance with the REAL ID law, which passed in 2005 in order to provide additional safety and security for U.S. citizens after 9/11. The act modified laws regarding security, authentication, and issuing standards for state driver's licenses and identification cards, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism.

Idaho lawmakers passed legislation in 2008 preventing the state from having to comply with the law. But the state law was amended this year to allow the Idaho Transportation Department to enhance the security of state ID cards and driver's licenses so they can be accepted on commercial flights.

During the extension, which lasts until Oct. 10, 2016, federal agencies will accept Idaho-issued driver's licenses and identification cards for official purposes.

Idaho Transportation Department spokesman Reed Hollinshead said the legislature needs to get state-issued identification back up to standards.

"We have been able to meet about 34 or 35 of those (39 requirements,)" he said. "But the remaining pieces cannot be complied with until the legislature acts."

Elizabeth Duncan, spokeswoman for the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, said Idaho has ample time to comply with the act and she expects the legislature will deal with the issue in 2016.

"I understand this is something the legislature will be working on this during this upcoming legislative session," she said.

If the state does not comply by Oct. 10, residents will have to bring a valid passport to travel on commercial airlines.


Information from: Coeur d'Alene Press,

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