House passes REAL ID bill to address noncompliant licenses

Staff Writer

Legislation to bring Oklahoma licenses into compliance with federal law was approved today with a 78-18 vote by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1845, by state Rep. Leslie Osborn, creates a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card for the state of Oklahoma. Individuals may also opt to retain their noncompliant licenses or identification cards.

“It was important to allow Oklahomans the option of keeping their current license,” said Osborn, R-Mustang, and chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee. “Many residents may not have a need for a REAL ID-compliant license or may be cautious about the over-sharing of information, and we wanted to make sure those individuals were not inconvenienced. This option garnered support by both Republicans and Democrats.”

Oklahoma currently has a U.S. Department of Homeland Security extension through June 6, 2017, to conform to the REAL ID Act of 2005. Military bases and federal facilities currently accept Oklahoma driver’s licenses. A REAL ID will be required by the TSA to board commercial aircraft beginning on January 22, 2018.

“I’m grateful Oklahoma is on track to meet its deadline for REAL ID compliance. The passage of this bill by the Oklahoma House of Representatives sends a clear message legislators are ready to move quickly and efficiently to ensure Oklahomans can travel freely,” Osborn said.

The legislation will now advance to the Oklahoma Senate for consideration.

A video interview with Rep. Osborn can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBLZNAS17hA&feature=youtu.be

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