‘Real ID’ delayed until October

Published 4:10 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The deadline for Louisiana to participate in the federal “Real ID” program was recently extended, according to the state’s Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV).

The Real ID Act, initially passed in 2005, sets forth requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes,” as defined by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security. “Official purposes” has been defined as boarding commercially operated airline flights and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

Previously, the state had been required to be in compliance by Jan. 22, 2018, but Louisiana has been granted an extension until Oct. 10, 2018.

In a statement, OMV Commissioner Karen St. Germain explained the changes.

“The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles began issuing Real ID credentials on Oct. 3, 2016, and is awaiting official confirmation from DHS (the Dept. of Homeland Security) that we are in full compliance,” St. Germain said. “Louisiana has been in continuous contact with DHS, who has confirmed that the determination of compliance has been forwarded to the (DHS) Secretary for official approval.

“Although Louisiana is awaiting approval, DHS is in recognition of the coming enforcement deadline and therefore has used their delegate authority to immediately grant an extension, which will be valid through Oct. 10, 2018.

“This means Louisiana citizens will still be allowed to use a non-expired Louisiana driver’s license or identification card for domestic air travel, even if it has not been marked with a Real ID symbol.”

Real IDs are currently available from state OMV offices. Louisiana first began issuing them in September of 2016.