Getting Real: Oklahoma among last to comply with ID law

Nearly 15 years after passage of the federal Real ID Act, Oklahoma will become compliant with the controversial law by the fall of 2020, officials say. Oklahoma is one of three states still working to comply with the act.

Oklahoma has needed five extensions of federal deadlines, and in 2017 state lawmakers had to pass a bill to reverse legislation adopted a decade before specifically prohibiting the Department of Public Safety from acting to bring Oklahoma into compliance with the Real ID Act. Even then, House Bill 1845, signed by former Gov. Mary Fallin, included language crafted especially to allow Oklahomans to opt out of signing up for Real ID cards and to choose instead to stick with older-style state-issued driver’s licenses or state-issued ID cards.

According to DPS media representative Sarah Stewart, 2,874,822 Oklahomans who currently carry one or the other of the older-style cards will have to decide whether to trade them in for Real ID-compliant cards.

People who fly on commercial airlines or who need to access federal facilities like Tinker Air Force Base will have easier times if they get Real ID-compliant cards, Stewart said. But, that will mean having digital images of “identity source documents” like birth certificates and Social Security cards along with digital photographs that might potentially be subjected to analysis using facial recognition technologies stored by the government in transferable formats.



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