Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY - Passengers pass through security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. An Oregon legislator is proposing a bill that would allow Oregonians to upgrade their driver's license to meet federal security standards and allow them to be used to board airplanes.SALEM — A proposal by an Oregon lawmaker would give Oregonians a voluntary path to upgrading their driver’s license to national standards.

Oregonians could be barred from boarding commercial domestic flights using their state driver’s license in 2018, unless lawmakers take action next session to comply with a federal mandate for more stringent identification criteria.

Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, said he plans to submit legislation for next session that would allow individual Oregonians to choose whether to comply with the federal REAL ID law.

“If you don’t want it for whatever reason, if you think it’s an intrusion into your privacy, if you feel it is an intrusion of the federal government into your personal affairs, you don’t have to do it,” Hansell said.

The state Legislature passed a law in 2009 that prohibits state officials from spending money to comply with the federal law unless the federal government reimburses the state for the cost. Lawmakers also had privacy concerns about some of the federal requirements. Oregon is one 27 states that don’t comply with the federal standards.

Complying with REAL ID law would cost the state about $2 million initially and about $1 million annually to maintain, said Tom McClellan, administrator for the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

The state already has received three extensions for complying with the law. The last extension expires Oct. 10.

“Oregon is unlikely to secure an additional extension without immediately assuring the federal government that Oregon will attempt action during the next legislative session — namely, take steps to remove barriers to and make progress toward REAL ID compliance,” McClellan wrote in a memo to lawmakers.

If the state is denied another extension, Oregonians will no longer be able to use their state driver’s license to enter nuclear facilities, military bases and certain other federal facilities. The federal government’s schedule for phasing in the law sets January 2018 as the deadline for having a REAL ID to board commercial domestic flights. Travelers will then have to use a passport or other federally approved form of ID to board commercial domestic flights.

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