The federal Department of Homeland Security this week approved ITD’s extension request for compliance to the REAL-ID Act.
Alan Frew, administrator of the Division of Motor Vehicles, sent the formal request Friday (Jan. 11), the same day DHS issued a 284-page document that outlines federal requirements for implementing driver's license security measures.
“Without a final rule in place to guide implementation efforts, Idaho has insufficient time to consider and act upon the final rules, and will not be in a position to comply with the Act and final rules by the deadline of May 11, 2008,” Frew said in his request.
“Under Section 205(b) of the Act, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may grant an extension of time to meet the requirements of the Act. The purpose of this letter is to request an extension for the State of Idaho.
“It is requested that Idaho be granted the maximum allowable time for this extension, as there are considerable political, operational and cost barriers to overcome.”
Richard C. Barth, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at DHS, indicated in a letter dated Wednesday (Jan. 16), the extension had been granted.
“This document serves as your official notification that the Department of Homeland Security has granted your request for an extension of the compliance date until December 31, 2009,” Barth wrote.
Ed Pemble, Driver Services Manager for the Division of Motor Vehicles, is reviewing the DHS document to determine its potential impact on ITD and Idaho drivers. He provided an update Thursday to the Idaho Transportation Board during its meeting in Boise.
“While most of the requirements are essentially the same in the final rule (as in preliminary rules issued in March 2007), some of the time frames for implementation have eased,” he said. “On May 11 of this year, driver’s license and identification card holders in states without extensions will not be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses or ID cards to board federally regulated aircraft or enter federal facilities or nuclear power plants,” Pemble said.
DHS rules announced last week give states until Dec. 31, 2009, to comply with the federal REAL-ID Act if they have received a formal extension.
But another extension may be available in late 2009 if states can demonstrate they have achieved 18 milestones moving toward compliance and if legislation is in place that ensures a clear path for implementation.
“Then, if we get the second extension, the new start date is May 11, 2011, with all mechanisms in place so that all individuals born on or after Dec. 1, 1964, can be issued a new REAL-ID compliant license by Dec. 1, 2014.”
Individuals born before Dec. 1, 1964, would have until Dec. 1, 2017, to get a compliant license.
Pemble also discussed projected costs of implementing the federal regulations, the possibility of receiving a grant to assist with costs, and a concept of partnering with other states on a verification/authentication system demonstration grant.
Idaho is one of 17 states that passed legislation against compliance with the REAL-ID Act.