REAL ID Bill Passes Senate
JUNEAU – The Alaska State Senate passed a bill today allowing the state to issue both Real ID compliant and noncompliant identification cards and driver’s licenses.
“This will put Alaskans to work on our military installations at a time when hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on construction,” said Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole. “It helps our contractors with ease of movement under federal requirements.”
Without Real ID compliant ID cards or licenses, Alaskans will not be allowed to access military facilities and federal facilities or pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports. The legislation has to pass both the Alaska House and Senate by May 17 in order to meet the June 6 processing deadline.
“This is an Alaska hire bill,” said Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks. “We should do everything we can to promote Alaska hire, and this is another step in that direction. It will help both rural and urban Alaskans get jobs.”
The REAL ID Act of 2005 changed federal laws to protect against terrorism, increase security for driver’s licenses and ID cards and improve border infrastructure. The act does not take away the state’s authority to issue licenses or ID cards, but does require higher standards to protect against tampering and fraud.
“House Bill 16 protects privacy and gives Alaskans a choice,” said Sen. Coghill. “Each individual is free to choose between a traditional license and one that is Real ID compliant.”
The bill is now on its way to the Alaska House for concurrence.