News

Enforcement of REAL ID Act to begin in January

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, will start being enforced Jan. 22, 2018.

The act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the minimum standards.

According to the DHS website, 25 states are in compliance at this time. The department is currently reviewing extension requests from 18 states with another seven already under review. If states are not in compliance by the January deadline, individuals with identification from those states could have issues accessing federal installations.

It is important to note that Department of Defense identification cards are compliant and therefore not affected.

“The enforcement of the REAL ID Act shouldn’t have a lot of day-to-day impact here at Offutt,” said Lt. Col. William Smith, 55th Security Forces Squadron commander. “However, individuals like delivery drivers, contractors and those requesting both short-term and long-term unescorted visitor access will not be able to use IDs from non-compliant states for access.”

Individuals with ID cards from non-compliant states could still enter the base under the trusted traveler program, which allows DOD ID card holders to escort individuals onto a federal installation.

“Those individuals could also use or apply for a passport for base access,” Smith said. “It’s also everyone’s right to petition their state government outlining how their non-compliance is affecting their ability to perform their job.”

The act came directly from the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

For more information, please visit their FAQ at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id