Improvements to the Real ID Act Regulation in Oklahoma

What Does the Real ID Act entail?

The Real ID Act 2005 is a congressional Act that addresses the issues of security and authentication in relation to driving license and national identity documents. The Act has set standards for states to follow when issuing licenses and identity documents to enhance security and combat terrorism (Homeland Security, 2018). To comply with the Act, states are required to provide legal names of holders in full, signature, gender, date of birth, facial photo, unique identification number, and primary residence address. However, Oklahoma passed a law in 2007 that authorizes non-compliance with the congressional Act of 2005. As required under the Real ID Act 2005, the Department of Homeland Security is not allowed to give passage to citizens from states that have not complied to the Act. Nonetheless, the department has given Oklahoma several extensions to comply with the Act, the latest of which ends in October 2018 (The Associated Press, 2018).

Improvements to the Real ID Act

The Oklahoma regulation should be improved to comply with the Real ID Act. The current regulation is based on the House Bill 1845 which was passed in 2017 to give citizens the option to get IDs and licenses that comply with the REAL ID Act or maintain their old documents (Franklin, 2017). The state should pass a new bill before the expiry of the extension date to comply with the REAL ID Act by making it mandatory for Oklahomans to get licenses that are compliant with the Act. Such changes would allow people in the state to board commercial airlines and access government buildings easily to carry out their activities. Non-compliance denies the citizens an opportunity to do business and interact with people from other states. Giving Oklahomans an option to comply and not comply would also create legal challenges with the federal government; hence it is necessary to fully comply with the REAL ID Act to make lives easier for Oklahomans and achieve national security goals.

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