Governor Bill Walker on Monday announced he was introducing legislation aimed at making Alaska driver’s licenses compliant with federal standards set by the REAL ID Act.
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act set new minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. But in 2008 the Alaska legislature passed a law blocking the use of public funds to comply with the law.
Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline for Alaska to comply with the REAL ID Act several times. Currently the state has until June to comply with the law, and DHS has said it will not grant the state any further extensions.
“If the Governor’s legislation does not pass this session, Alaskans will lose the waiver and starting in 2018, be unable to fly domestically or access many federal buildings with an Alaska driver license or identification card,” Walker’s office wrote in a press release.
The Governor added that his bill, if passed, would allow Alaskans to choose between having a REAL ID-compliant license or a regular non-compliant license.
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