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2024 Montana Primary elections

Montana Asks For More Time To Comply With REAL ID Act

Monana drivers license.
Montana is approaching an October 10, 2017 deadline when standard state driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable forms of ID when visiting a military base, most other federal facilities, or boarding an airplane.";

The Montana Department of Justice is asking U.S. Homeland Security for more time to comply with the REAL ID Act, the 2005 federal law passed in the wake of 9/11 requiring stricter identification before boarding an airplane.

Montana is approaching an October 10 deadline when standard state driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable forms of ID when visiting a military base or most other federal facilities. The current deadline would also require people to use an upgraded ID to board a plane by the end of January.

However, Sarah Garcia, with the state Motor Vehicle Division, told lawmakers in the Law and Justice Committee Thursday, that earlier this month Montana asked for an extension to comply with the federal law.

"I feel pretty confident we will get some sort of extension because we continue to move forward in the plan for implementation,” Garcia said.

Montana lawmakers passed a bill during the last legislative session that would give people the option to buy a driver’s license or state ID card that would comply with the REAL ID Act.

Those IDs will range from $25 to $50.

Homeland Security will let state officials know if the extension is granted before the coming October 10, deadline.

According to the Department of Justice, if Montana does receive an extension to comply with the REAL ID Act, every air traveler will need a REAL ID license or other acceptable form of ID, like a passport, for domestic air travel by October 2020, at the very latest.

Corin Cates-Carney manages MTPR’s daily and long-term news projects. After spending more than five years living and reporting across Western and Central Montana, he became news director in early 2020.
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