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REAL ID Sits in Missouri Senate

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Republicans in the Missouri Senate want to make sure the governor doesn't create a health care exchange without their consent.

In 2018, Missourians may have a harder time boarding flights and entering federal buildings using their driver’s license.

Missouri is one of five states that does not comply with REAL ID, the 2005 federal law that requires states to administer stricter standards for distributing state identification like driver’s licenses.

If the legislature does not accept the standards, Missourians would have to use a passport or something similar to board domestic flights and enter federal buildings that require identification to enter.

Twenty states received an extension, which means they are not fully compliant with the law. Twenty six states, including Washington D.C. states are fully compliant.  

Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey said the federal government is not requiring compliance, but failure to comply with the law limits what a person can do with their identification.

Silvey proposed a bill that would allow Missourians to choose between switching to the REAL ID or stay with the current ID.

“I’m not really of an opinion one way or another on the federal law, but as long as the federal law is in place, I think that we should offer a compliant option and give people the choice,” Silvey said.

Missouri state Sen. Will Kraus opposes REAL ID on the state and federal level. He said the federal government is infringing on citizens’ privacy through storing their personal information that is used to obtain identification.

Kraus said he wants the federal law repealed. “This problem was not caused by Missouri. This problem was caused by the federal government and their continuing overreach pushing down a burdensome regulation that’s going to cost millions of dollars,” he said. Kraus said the mandate is unfunded.

Kraus said the way to respond to is to push the federal government to repeal the law.

“So we need to make sure we are pushing the federal government, saying ‘Fix this this problem right now,’” he said. “Yes, Missouri can pass and conform to the standard of ‘05, but why should we?”

Kraus said the major difference between the identification Missourians use now and the REAL ID is that the government keeps the documents that verify identify like a birth certificate and stores the information.

Silvey said he doesn’t believe that the issue of privacy applies to his bill because it offers the choice to opt in to the REAL ID system.

“If Senator Kraus is concerned about privacy and having information in a database, he would be able to choose not to have his information in a database,” Silvey said.

Kraus said he was able to hold off a vote in the Senate on REAL ID until after the legislature’s spring break, and that in the meantime he will be challenging the federal government on its position on REAL ID.

He said he is writing a letter to President Trump asking for an extension or waivers for Missouri on REAL ID.