The past few months, we here at TravelPlex have been asked quite often as to the status of Missouri driver’s licenses and whether the REAL ID Act will be an issue for Missouri residents. We have been monitoring the progress in Jefferson City every day.
Well, it finally paid off. Last night (June 12th), Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law legislation bringing Missouri driver’s licenses and identification cards in line with Department of Homeland standards. This paves the way for Missouri’s IDs to be accepted at United States airports, military bases and other federal facilities.
Without the new law, Missouri travelers would otherwise have had to use passports to board an airline flight.
“This measure ensures that Missourians will be able to use a driver’s license to fly or visit a military base,” said Greitens in a statement prior to signing the law at Whiteman Air Force Base.
Under the new law, approved by the House and Senate in the last days of the spring legislative session, data retained from Missourians’ personal documents will be housed in a secure facility not connected to the commercial internet — to avoid hacking — and criminal penalties await anyone who misuses the information.
The measure will give residents an option of getting a license or ID that is federally compliant or one that is not. And, if the federal government repeals the REAL ID law, the measure will be voided.
However, while the law is now in force, ii will still take up to two years for the changes to be implemented. Supporters of the bill say Missouri will qualify for a waiver from the federal government allowing people to continue using their current IDs until the new system is online.
“Now that we have a law passed we need to seek an extension from the Department of Homeland Security. We are confident we will be able to get that designation,” Corlew said. There are currently nine states that have extensions in place.