SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missourians have a little more time to update their current driver’s licenses to comply with federal law.
“I couldn’t remember the dates. I thought ‘I don’t want to get all the way to the airport and my license not be enough’,” said Jessica Crisler, who was flying out of the Springfield Branson National Airport Tuesday afternoon.
Crisler didn’t want to risk it, So she brought her passport with her.
“It’s an extra hassle to remember your passport,” she said.
But turns out she didn’t need a passport and won’t need it until October 2018. That’s the deadline for all Missourians to have a license that complies with federal requirements called REAL ID.
The deadline was until January, but now the Department of Homeland Security has granted the state a few more months until Oct. of 2018. That’s when you’ll need to have a R.E.A.L. ID or a passport to fly.
“This allows Missouri to complete that process and to allow Missouri citizens to have time to get the REAL ID compliant,” said U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville.
A REAL ID means the Department of Motor Vehicles will scan and retain documents like a birth certificate when issuing licenses.
“Mechanisms where we can feel confident that the individual is not a terrorist or does not wish to do people harm,” Congresswoman Hartzler said.
Most frequent fliers and citizens agree.
“I believe in privacy, but I don’t think that’s intrusive,” said Stephanie Baldwin, a Missouri Resident. “I think it’s the times that we live in that determine those types of things.”
Despite what some call the hassle of having to update their licenses, most are okay with a little more security.
“I think for security that’s very good,” said Crisler. “And I think we should be able to show birth certificates and whatever else other requirements.”
For citizens who are concerned with their privacy, they have the option to skip out on the REAL ID.
“I also appreciate the legislature in Missouri taking a closer look at how this can be done and providing an option for people,” Congresswoman Hartzler said.
But if you opt out, you will need a passport to board domestic flights.
The REAL ID rules also require fingerprint background checks on staffers. The Springfield News-Leader reports Governor Eric Greitens outlined a plan saying Missouri would update and review how ID cards are designed by June.