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Corlew seeks to make REAL ID an option for Missourians

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Kevin Corlew, R-Kansas City, and Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, have entered into the controversy surrounding Real ID in the state of Missouri, with a different take on the situation – why not let citizens decide if they want that kind of identification?

The Real ID Act became a federal law in 2005 by recommendation of the 9/11 Commission in response to concerns of terrorists obtaining false identification. The final report of the commission stated, “For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.”

Rep. Kevin Corlew
Rep. Kevin Corlew

However, the law also collected the license information from all of the states and put it into a national database, setting off privacy concerns. In 2009, Gov. Jay Nixon signed a law which prohibited the Missouri Department of Revenue, which issues driver’s licenses, from switching their licensure standards and practices to those mandated by the Real ID Act.

Without those federally approved licenses, Missourians would not be able to enter areas owned, operated or overseen by federal security forces like military bases or airports.

The Department of Homeland Security set their deadline for license compliance for Feb. 22, 2018, which let everyone in the state breath a sigh of relief as the law took effect earlier this month. Many feared that provision would be immediate.

With that extension to investigate alternatives, Corlew filed HB 2235, which would delineate two different types of licenses, those that Missouri has always issued, and those that would adhere to the Real ID Act’s specifications.

“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,” Corlew said in a statement. “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.”

Silvey has passed similar legislation in the Senate.