Federal reps want to put brakes to Real ID

Montana’s congressional delegation said Tuesday it has introduced legislation in the House and Senate repealing federal mandates for driver’s licenses included in the Real ID Act of 2005.

The “Repeal Real ID Act” proposed by Republicans Rep. Ryan Zinke and Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester is comparable to legislation Daines introduced in 2014 while serving in the House. Tester first wrote and introduced legislation to block the implementation of Real ID standards, the “Identification Security Enhancement Act,” in 2007.

By repealing Title II of the Real ID Act of 2005, which establishes national standards for driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards, the “Repeal ID Act” will ensure that the 2007 Montana law banning compliance with Real ID driver’s license mandates is protected, the Montana officials said.

Daines said during a Jan. 7 news conference in Helena with Attorney General Tim Fox that he would introduce the repeal Real ID legislation. The news conference came a day after the state announced it was issuing a new driver’s license with stricter security protections.

The Department of Homeland Security recently granted Montana an extension for meeting Real ID mandates until Oct. 10. Without an additional extension or repeal of the REAL ID requirements, Montanans will eventually be required to show additional documents of identification when flying in the United States.

The Real ID Act was passed to prevent terrorism and identity theft by improving the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Associated Press reported.

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