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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Legislature Passes 'Real ID' Compromise Bill

Monana drivers license.
At the end of this year, a Montana driver’s license would not meet the federal standards to be used for air travel or access to federal facilities.";

The Montana Legislature passed a bill Tuesday that offers a compromise on the 2005 federal “Real ID Act,” which standardizes state identification cards. At the end of this year, a Montana driver’s license would not meet the federal standards to be used for air travel or access to federal facilities.

Senate Bill 366 would give Montanans the option of paying a fee for a special license that complies with the federal guidelines.

The bill was amended in a free conference committee to draw funds from a state special revenue account and borrow money for implementation. Some of the borrowing could be pushed back if the state receives an extension from the federal government to comply.

Democratic Sen. Jill Cohenour is the sponsor of the bill.

“The fees would remain at the $25 and $50, so that we can make the loan payments and the department would only be drawing on the account as needed,” Cohenour said.

The bill will now go to Gov. Steve Bullock.

Freddy Monares is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

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