REAL ID enforcement grace period extended

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The notice of the latest extension to comply does not change very much for state residents anxious their state-issued identification will not be accepted at airports and other federal security sites.

This grace period goes into effect on Wednesday, Oct. 11, and applies to jurisdictions now under compliance extensions set to expire Oct. 10.

The federal law under the Real ID Act, which mandates tougher proof-of-identity requirements at airports, some federal facilities and military bases, has caused privacy concerns among some Missouri lawmakers.

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After the last extension expired Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security gave Missouri a grace period through January 22, 2018.

PennDOT submitted an extension request to DHS in early September and is now awaiting DHS response. In that meeting, the governor's office said, federal officials assured Minnesota that "states which continue to make progress with compliance will continue to be granted extensions". Before applying for REAL ID certification, DOR needs to update its computer systems, formally establish policies for the optional program and train its employees and contractors. Legislation enacted earlier this year set that deadline for getting the state fully up to speed on Real ID.

Rep. Dennis Smith, R-Maple Grove, the author of that bill, said state officials hope the federal government will eventually grant an extension through October 2020. Several of the 9/11 hijackers had obtained state-issued driver's licenses in the months leading up to the attack.

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Minnesota has requested a REAL ID compliance extension through October 2018.

Real ID emerged in 2005 among a slew of legislation to address national security concerns after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and it was one of the key recommendations in the 9/11 Commission Report.

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