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Oklahoma's Request for More Time on Real ID Act is Denied

You probably noticed the recent Associated Press report about the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety saying the federal government has rejected the state's request for an extension of time to comply with the federal REAL ID Act.

The state agency went on to say the U.S. Department of Homeland Security won't begin enforcing the act until after January 29, 2017.

Public safety officials say after January 29, federal agencies will be prohibited from accepting driver's licenses and identification cards issued by non-compliant states, meaning those without identification that complies with the REAL ID Act won't be admitted to a federal building, military base or courthouse.

The act was passed to ensure the reliability of driver's licenses, but legislators in Oklahoma and elsewhere believe the government is overreaching. Oklahoma is not the only state. 27 other states/territories are not yet willing to accept what they believe is an unnecessary federal mandate.

Gov. Mary Fallin says she will work with state and federal officials to minimize any adverse effects. The Oklahoma legislature had two bills last year to find compromise but both were ultimately rejected. You may also wish to reach out to your Congressman or U.S. Senator, to find out if they are in agreement with the OK legislature in opposing this federal mandate. On the other hand, at least a couple of Oklahoma legislators have said they will be revisiting the issue next year.

This dilemma may be especially troubling for LTL’s or anyone else who delivers to a military base. On the one hand, the federal government has extended the deadline more than once, and it is fair to ask yourself “what if they don’t this time and my truck gets held up from delivery?” It is truly as if the states and the federal government are each willing to see who might blink first. Who can be certain January 29th will in fact be enforced? Many will wait and see.

For those unwilling to take the risk there is a certain way your deliveries will get through. That certainty would be for your drivers to acquire a federally accepted form of identification. It takes time and money so you’d best start now if you are going to. If you believe your business will be hindered and for those inclined to proceed with a federally recognized ID, below are links that may be helpful.

TWIC = Transportation Worker Identification Credential

OR

Traditional Passport

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