Local legislator introduces bill aimed at giving Missouri citizens a choice in Real ID issue

A local state representative wants to give Missouri residents the ability to choose whether to obtain photo identification that complies with the federal Real ID Act. Rep. Kevin Corlew recently filed legislation, HB 2235, that would allow the state revenue department to issue Real ID compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards to those who want them. Current law, which was passed in 2009 to protect the private information of Missouri citizens, prohibits the Missouri Department of Revenue from complying with the federal act.

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to enhance security procedures by establishing new minimum standards for driver’s licenses. Because the state has not complied with the requirements, the federal government recently stated that Missouri licenses will no longer be a valid form of identification at federal facilities, including airports.

The federal government also recently granted Missouri an extension so that Missouri driver’s licenses will continue to be accepted at airport security checkpoints until 2018.

Corlew said his bill is designed to provide a reasonable solution that will ensure Missourians don’t have their access to federal facilities cut off, or their ability to travel by airplane impaired. State Sen. Ryan Silvey has filed a similar measure in the Senate.

“We want to continue to protect the private information of Missouri citizens, but we also want a viable alternative that will allow them to continue to travel freely and easily,” said Corlew, R-Kansas City who represents a portion of east-central Platte County. “My bill represents a simple but effective fix that will allow our revenue department to issue Real ID compliant identification cards to those Missourians who choose to have them. Individuals who want to continue to use the current driver’s license that complies with our 2009 state law can continue to do that as well.

“This change is one that will empower Missourians to make their own choice on this controversial issue.”

The House Emerging Issues Committee met Wednesday, Jan. 13 to discuss the Real ID issue. Corlew said he is hopeful his bill will be assigned to the committee and receive a public hearing in the coming weeks.