Alaska is closer than ever to becoming part of the national ID system known as REAL ID.
On Monday, the Alaska Senate voted 14-5 to allow the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles to abide by the federal REAL ID law.
The House approved a similar measure on Saturday and confirmed its action with a procedural vote Monday. The House and Senate will now trade bills, with the Senate’s version going to the House and the House’s going to the Senate.
Either version must be approved by both bodies and signed into law by Gov. Bill Walker before Thursday in order to comply with an approaching federal deadline. If Alaska doesn’t meet that deadline, Alaskans might have to present passports to fly across state lines or enter military bases and federal buildings.
“On June 6, we do have a federal mandate and a gauntlet coming down,” said Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, before his ‘yes’ vote.
Congress in 2005 mandated that state-issued IDs abide by certain standards and that identifying information be placed into a national database for easy checks across state lines.