REAL ID deadline passes for four noncompliant states

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Friday, January 15, 2016

As of Jan. 10, driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by the states of Washington, Illinois, New Mexico and Missouri are no longer accepted for access at nuclear power plants and most federal facilities, including military bases.

Minnesota already had been considered noncompliant with REAL ID, which was passed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and requires set standards for such identifications as driver’s licenses. At this time, enforcement of the REAL ID Act is up to each government facility.

What does this mean for truck drivers from noncompliant states that need to make deliveries to federal buildings?

The Department of Homeland Security has been vague on the issue, saying that acceptable forms of identification are determined by each facility and that residents from noncompliant states can provide another form of ID or follow the facility’s procedures.

Doug Morris, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s director of security operations, suggests acquiring a TWIC may be the best solution.

While it is up to each government facility to decide which alternative IDs they will accept, a TWIC does meet the REAL ID requirements, and the Transportation Security Administrations lists it as an acceptable form of identification in the REAL ID implementation guide.

 “According to what I’m hearing from TSA, all facilities should accept TWIC,” Morris said. “But it is up to each government facility whether or not they choose to accept it. If they are in a state that their license is noncompliant, they should be able to use their TWIC to get on bases and use them to get in government buildings, as well.”

Morris said truck drivers from noncompliant states who have a Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) on a Commercial Driver’s License also should be granted access to government facilities.

“If you have a hazmat endorsement, that conforms to the REAL ID Act as well,” Morris said. “So even those with CDLs from noncompliant states but have an HME, they should be able to have access to federal buildings and bases. But if all you have is a license from one of those noncompliant states, you will be turned away.”

It is unclear when or if Washington, Illinois, New Mexico, Missouri and Minnesota will become compliant to REAL ID. Some of the states passed laws preventing it from doing so.

 “Getting a TWIC is the best thing for them to do, because it is unclear when these states will get on board with the REAL ID Act,” Morris said.

Beginning on Jan. 22, 2018, the TSA will not accept driver’s licenses from states not compliant with REAL ID in order to board a commercial airline flight. However, a TWIC will be an acceptable form of identification for flights, as well.

A TWIC, which is required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels, can be acquired by applying at tsa.gov.

TWIC cost for a new applicant is $128, and $105.25 is the reduced rate for new applicants with a license that includes an HME.

Morris is on the TWIC taskforce. If you have any problems involving your TWIC, please contact him at Doug_Morris@ooida.com.

Other potential identifications that meet REAL ID standards include a U.S. passport, a border crossing card, a U.S. Military ID, a Veterans Health Identification Card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship, and an Employment Authorization Document.

Since each facility can make its own standards, calling ahead may also be a good option.

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