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Monday, July 14, 2014

Law - "Kentucky licenses may not comply with US rules"

James Bruggers and James R. Carroll report today in the Louisville Courier Journal that "Tighter security requirements for driver's licenses could keep Kentucky residents from federal facilities." The story begins:

When Alex DeSha was making arrangements for about 50 Kentuckians to attend an Environmental Protection Agency public hearing in Atlanta later this month, he found out their driver's licenses wouldn't be accepted as identification.

New security provisions that take effect July 21 will require that people with driver's licenses from Kentucky and nine other states show a passport or some other kind of federal identification, such as a military ID, the EPA said.

And by 2016 the implications could spread well beyond EPA hearings as Kentucky driver's licenses risk falling out of compliance for boarding airplanes.

Kentucky officials have been working to tighten 39 procedures to satisfy the REAL ID Act of 2005, signed by President George W. Bush as a way to make it difficult for terrorists to obtain state-issued identification. Implementation of the act has been delayed several times and Kentucky is seeking an extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security until 2016 to comply.

One big issue, said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman Lisa Tolliver, is that unlike many states where driver's licenses are issued by a single state agency, Kentucky's licenses are handled by local Circuit Court clerk's offices at 145 locations, making it more difficult to standardize procedures.

Indiana's driver's license was cleared in 2012 by Homeland Security. Indiana started work complying with the law in 2009, adopting its own efforts, including implementing a centralized system for issuing permanent driver's licenses and identification. * * *

Besides Kentucky, the other states that the federal government says have not adequately changed their licenses are Alaska, Arizona, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Washington.

Max Bluestein, director of research at Keeping IDentities Safe, a Washington-based non-profit advocating for more secure licenses and IDs, said his group has been warning the states that unless they complied with the new rules, their residents would be facing problems.

"The regulations set forth in the REAL ID Act are all quite achievable and the federal government has made funds available to do so," he said in an e-mail. "It's largely been misconceptions and misinformation that has kept states behind, via their legislatures."

Interesting story. The ILB remembers the "Real ID" controversy in Indiana and didn't know it had been resolved here. Here are the most recent ILB posts, none more recent than 2009:

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 14, 2014 02:14 PM
Posted to General Law Related