Metro-East News

Missouri gets Real ID waiver; Illinois still under waiver for compliance

Gov. Greitens signs Real ID bill

Here are the answers to your questions, including "Do I need to run out get a new driver's license?"
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Here are the answers to your questions, including "Do I need to run out get a new driver's license?"

Missouri residents will be able to fly without a passport under another waiver for Real ID law — at least until October.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Missouri another extension through Oct. 10 to come into compliance with the federal Real ID Act requiring certain standards in state IDs and driver’s licenses in order to fly.

Without the waiver, Missourians would have had to use a passport or another federally approved identification in order to board a commercial airplane or enter certain federal buildings and military bases.

The Real ID law was approved in 2005, requiring that states scan a birth certificate or Social Security card in order to obtain a driver’s license. Missouri lawmakers opposed compliance with the law for years, but eventually came up with a compromise: residents will be able to get a Real ID-compliant license, but will have the option to get a license that doesn’t comply if they wish. Those residents will still have to get a passport or other identification if they wish to fly.

Missouri will not have that system in place by October, however — current estimates are March 2019. That means the state will need another waiver next year, according to news reports.

Illinois is also operating under Real ID waivers, but the Illinois Secretary of State’s office estimates that this will be the last waiver needed to bring the state into compliance. Real ID-compliant cards will be issued beginning in January 2019.

Earlier this fall, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 395, which creates a similar two-tiered identification system so that Illinois residents also can opt out of a Real ID license in favor of bringing passports or a certified birth certificate in order to fly.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald