Mississippi to comply with REAL ID

Homeland Security News Wire

Last Friday, Mississippi joined forty other states and announced it would comply with the REAL ID Act, according to the U.S.Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Coalition For A Secure Driver License(CSDL). Forty-one states and territories are fully or partially compliant withREAL ID – of which twenty states are fully compliant.

The Examiner reports that the deadline for other states to adopt the measure has been postponed until 2016.  

The other twenty states which are fully compliant are Alabama, Hawaii, Florida, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

A recent statement from DHS said, “DHS has determined that forty-one states and territories are either fully compliant with the REAL ID standards or have made sufficient progress to qualify for an extension.” The following states have been granted an extension to compliance with the act: Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, U.S.Virgin Islands, and Virginia.

Non-compliant states and territories are Alaska, American Somoa, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, and Washington.

Enhanced Driver Licenses could serve as substitutes for REAL ID for New York and Washington.

On Friday DHS reported that, “the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) will continue to accept driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards from all jurisdictions until at least 2016. DHS will ensure the public has ample advanced notice before identification requirements for boarding aircraft change.”

A driver’s license or identification card from a noncompliant state can be used along with an acceptable second form of identification in order to board federally regulated commercial aircrafts.Brian Zimmer, the president of the Coalition for Secure Driver License (CSDL) said, “we are strongly encouraged that REAL ID enforcement will finally get underway so all states get the message that consequences for non-compliance will soon start to affect their residents. The phased approach should ensure that the public is well informed that enforcement is coming. The Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License congratulates the twenty-one currently compliant states for moving forward to provide their residents with secure driver’s licenses. People in REAL ID compliant states probably won’t even notice these enforcement steps. By contrast, residents of non-compliant states will need to make adjustments, including obtaining other proofs of identity, like passports. Their only alternative will be to forgo access to secure federal facilities or forgo commercial air travel. For example, they can travel by train.”

The Examiner notes that the REAL ID Act, recommended by the 9/11 Commission, was signed in 2005 by President George W. Bush in an effort to strengthen the security, authentication, and issuance standards for state driver licenses and identification cards. According to the National Immigration Law Center, none of the 9/11 hijackers used fake identification cards, but seven of them used false statements of residency to obtain identification cards in Virginia.


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