Isles have extension for deadline on revamped IDs
In January, there was an article that stated Hawaii was among 17 states where residents may have trouble traveling without a required federal ID after May, and that Hawaii's driver's licenses could be useless for getting on an airplane. Did Hawaii seek a waiver requesting more time to comply with the legislation? Can you please provide an update?
Answer: You can relax for now.
Hawaii did request a waiver and it has been approved.
That means the state has until Dec. 31, 2009 to comply with the federal REAL ID security mandate on Hawaii driver's licenses, as well as state ID cards, said Liane Moriyama, administrator of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, which administers state ID cards.
"We have a large part of our population that don't drive," so that's why state IDs also are required to have the added security features, Moriyama explained.
For now, all she would say about the pending new identification cards and licenses is that "they have to be REAL ID-compliant."
That means a lot of things, she said, but "right now, we are not giving a lot of detail out" on what exactly that entails because of concern that it will cause fear and concern in the public.
"All we're saying officially is that we have until Dec. 31, 2009, and until (Hawaii residents) hear from us, then everything is status quo."
So, come May, you shouldn't be having problems boarding airplanes or passing through security with your current driver's licenses and state IDs, Moriyama said.
Under the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, the Department of Homeland Security requires states to issue more secure driver's licenses in an effort to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and criminals to obtain government-issued identification.
"REAL ID requires that any person who requires federal services such as air travel screening must have a REAL ID-compliant card," Moriyama said.
Hawaii was among the states that unsuccessfully fought against the mandate, arguing it would be too expensive and also be a further government invasion of privacy.
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