SALEM, Ore. – The status of Oregon’s compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2015 is officially up in the air. If the state doesn’t secure another federal extension, a driver’s license won’t be enough to board domestic commercial flights come late January.
The state was classified as “under review” after a previously extension granted by the Department of Homeland Security expired on October 10, 2017. DHS is currently reviewing extension requests by numerous other states that aren’t in compliance with the law.
States will continue to have a grace period until January 22, 2018, meaning federal agencies can continue to accept driver’s licenses and ID cards issued by out of compliance states.
If Oregon is found out of compliance and doesn’t receive another extension, individuals with Oregon-issued IDs will have to provide an “acceptable” form of identification if they wish to board commercial passenger flights, even for domestic travel, after January 22.
Oregon has been granted numerous extensions in the past. In each instance, DHS considers different factors to decide whether a state is justified in asking for an extension. DHS said extensions will only be renewed if the state demonstrates “continuing progress in meeting the REAL ID standards.”
Oregon State officials have recently approved Senate Bill 374 with the hopes of proving they’re committed to the REAL ID Act.
SB 374 authorizes the Oregon Department of Transportation to issue special enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) and other identification that meets REAL ID Act standards. “However the existence of an EDL is not sufficient to consider the state to be in overall compliance for purpose of determining whether a Federal agency may accept a state’s regular driver’s license for official purposes,” according to DHS. “For example, a Federal agency could accept an EDL issued from a state but not be able to accept a standard driver’s license from that same state.”
DHS will issue no further extension after October 21, 2020, when REAL ID compliant IDs will be required for domestic commercial air travel and entrance into federal building and military bases.
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