JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri citizens concerned about their ability to board flights after the end of the state’s REAL ID extension should not worry, according to Missouri Department of Revenue Director Joel Walters.
The extension for the state was granted through October 10, 2018, but many had expressed concern about whether they would be able to fly after that deadline had passed.
Last week, it was announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would grant Missouri a grace period through Jan. 21, 2019, to satisfy requirements of the REAL ID Act and its regulations, but Walters issued a statement on Tuesday to clarify the situation.
“We at the Department of Revenue want to clarify some conflicting reports regarding REAL ID. Missouri’s current extension is valid through Oct. 10, 2018, and we’ve already applied for another extension. That extension is expected to be approved and would allow Missouri driver licenses and identification cards to continue to be accepted until Missouri reaches full compliance with the REAL ID Act, which we expect to be by March of 2019,” he said. “We’ve also been informed that the DHS has granted Missouri a grace period through Jan. 21, 2019. During this grace period, federal agencies will accept Missouri-issued driver licenses and ID cards for official purposes, including domestic air travel.”
Walters said that over the course of that period, Missourians should have no issues using their current driver licenses or IDs when boarding domestic flights after Oct. 10, and says they “remain on track to be fully compliant with the REAL ID Act by March 2019.”
Benjamin Peters was a reporter for The Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine and also produced the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined The Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield.