Guest Editorial

Rep. Schomacker helps approve Real Id legislation

 The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved legislation that would allow the implementation of REAL ID. Without it, Minnesota driver’s licenses can no longer be used to board airplanes beginning January 2018. State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) voted in favor of the measure.

“I had families telling me they couldn’t see their kids graduate at military ceremonies because it was on federal government property and they couldn’t enter because they didn’t have REAL ID compliant identification or a passport,” Schomacker said. “That’s something that just shouldn’t happen.”

The legislation would bring Minnesota into full compliance with the federal Real ID act, which was a federal law passed in 2005. Its goal was to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to obtain fake identification cards by setting standards that states must meet for their driver’s licenses.

If Minnesota’s state-issued identification cards don’t meet federal standards by 2018, residents will be unable to board a domestic airline flight or access federal buildings or military bases. Under the House bill, Minnesota residents would be able to choose a Real ID compliant driver's license or a non-compliant license.

“This should have been a bill that was passed last year, but wasn’t,” Schomacker said. “This year we have a much improved bill and we’re giving options for people who are concerned about data privacy. These people would have the option to go with a different type of card, but without a passport they won’t be able to fly or access federal buildings, but that’s their choice.”

The legislation now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.





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