State legislatures in Washington state and Oregon are in a stare down with the federal government, one they are likely to lose,
At issue is the adoption of federal standards for driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards in Washington and Oregon that can be used at secured areas, including airports.
The law requiring it, the Real ID Act of 2005, was enacted as a result of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent war on terrorism. It requires higher standards of proof of U.S. citizenship or proof of lawful status in the U.S. in order for state-issued IDs to be valid for federal purposes, such as at airport security points or when entering federal courthouses or other secure federal facilities.
The Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security, has said it intends to stop accepting noncompliant IDs on Jan. 22, 2018. Washington has asked for extensions, but its most recent request for more time was rejected, and residents now face the 2018 deadline.
It’s time to start implementing the changes.
Congress enacted the law more than a decade ago and aviation safety remains a deep concern. The Real IDs will help ease some of the worries. The security measures also make the licenses and ID cards harder to replicate and they have the potential to reduce fraud and identity theft.