A bill which would allow residents to acquire federally compliant and accepted identification has made its way through the Missouri House and was passed to the Senate last week.
House Bill 151, sponsored by State Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, would require the Missouri Department of Revenue to issue REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses.
Unless the applicant requests a license that is not compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005.
The new IDs would be valid for state purposes and for official federal purposes outlined in the REAL ID Act and would be acceptable for boarding an airplane and allow access to military bases and federal facilities.
Although many lawmakers in Missouri have been resistant to adhering to the act for more than a decade, the inconvenience of not having federally recognized identification is outweighing privacy and states’ rights issues.
State Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, said he voted for the bill with one group in mind.
“I can’t look at our military families and not give them a chance to have a compliant ID,” he said. “As it stands now, this would give them a choice. The governor has been clear on what he wants.”
Alferman added he also had area vets in mind who are taking honor flights to Washington, D.C.
“I’m not about to say someone needs to spend a lot of money on a passport, when they can get an ID from the DMV for $7,” he said. “Without one, these guys won’t be able to get to D.C.”
Although REAL ID legislation has passed the House, there is no guarantee it will make it through the Senate and to Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk.
“We are moving about 20 bills each day,” Alferman said. “The Senate side is moving much slower.”
In his most recent Capital Report, Alferman said the end of the “Legislative Spring Break,” on March 24, also marks the end of the first half of session.
“At this point, if a bill hasn’t made it out of one chamber, the likelihood that bill passes is slim to none,” he said. “The exception to this rule of thumb is the budget, which will pass, as it is our only constitutional duty during session.”