Need a Real ID? Idaho drivers may get to choose


Idaho drivers will have a choice of Real ID-compliant or non-compliant driver’s licenses or ID cards under legislation introduced in the Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, addresses the concerns some people have about a national ID card.

The Real ID Act, approved by Congress in 2005, tries to make it harder for terrorists and illegal aliens to obtain false IDs. It requires states to adopt tighter practices for issuing photo identification cards, including verifying Social Security numbers and birth certificates, requiring proof of legal status and making sure applicants don’t have multiple cards under different names.

Real ID-compliant identification is needed to enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases, research labs and non-public portions of courthouses. Beginning next year, they’ll be required for boarding commercial airline flights.

The Idaho Transportation Department is on track to begin issuing Real ID-compliant cards by January. However, Vick noted that some people object to the cards due to privacy concerns. Older drivers also may have difficulty providing all the necessary documentation.

“For either of those groups, this bill provides a way they can still get a driver’s license that works on the roads,” Vick said.

Washington State also has a dual-license system, in which people can voluntarily apply for a Real ID-compliant license or a non-compliant license that’s still valid for driving.

The legislation was introduced without discussion Thursday. Transportation Chairman Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson, said he will schedule a hearing on the measure.