Current state laws regarding Missouri drivers’ licenses are not in accordance with those stipulated by the federal government, and this has resulted in the inability for license-holders to be granted access into federal buildings and military bases as of Sunday. Furthermore, it could even cause those wishing to fly within the states to be denied the ability without a passport.
There will be time for travelers to comply as they will receive four months notice before their license will no longer be acceptable for travel. At this time, they must use an alternate form of identification such as a military identification card or passport.
Federal courthouses are also allowing leniency as they will allow the use of a Missouri driver’s license for entrance until they are informed they can no longer do so.
The issue arose in 2009 when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed a state law restricting the state’s compliance with federal standards. However, due to recent events, he has changed his stance and announced the law must be changed.
According to Republican Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, the issue is being taken seriously, and urgent attention is being given to get this resolved by legal counsel. The changes were a result of the signing of the Real ID Act in 2005 by President George W. Bush in response to the infamous terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. It requires applicants for a driver’s license in the United States to provide proof of residency such as a birth certificate or social security card. However, those against the bill argued that it presented the issue of federal overreach.
The Department of Homeland Security is working with Missouri and other states not in compliance including New Mexico, Washington, Illinois and Minnesota with extensions where warranted to help them transition into proper compliance.