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Walker calls REAL ID "common sense" for Missouri

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Come January of next year, those looking to travel may need an alternative from of ID to board a plane.

That, if the state of Missouri doesn't become compliant with federal identification regulations.

In 2005, U.S. Congress passed the REAL ID Act as a response to toughen identity requirements after 9/11.

Right now, 26 states, including the District of Columbia, are REAL ID compliant.

Twenty-five other states and territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been granted an extension.

Starting next January, ID's from the five states not in compliance, including the Show-Me-State could face some hiccups.

If nothing changes, beginning in 2018, travelers would need to present their passport or an alternative from of ID just to fly within the United States.

However, one local Missouri lawmaker hopes fellow legislators will work to get a measure passed quickly.

"Most of the states comply with the federal ID law and Missouri needs to do so," said State Representative Nate Walker (R)-Kirksville. "It makes it more simple for us to travel. Right now, we have just about another year before we will be penalized."

In order to be compliant, Missouri must incorporate anti-counterfeit technology into the card, verify the applicant's identity and conduct background checks for employee's issuing the licenses.

Some lawmakers feel the measure invades personal privacy.

That's why in 2009, a state law was passed prohibiting Missouri from complying with REAL ID regulations.

State Representative Nate Walker however, feels privacy won't be jeopardized.

"Anymore, I don't know if we have any privacy at all. We saw all the different accounts on the national level being hacked. I think if they really want your information or if they want to hack you, they will figure out a way to do that."

Because the state is running out of time to comply, an alternative measure has been proposed.

"There are provisions, however, if you don't want this ID. You can keep the ID that you have but you'll not have the liberties to fly in the U.S. without a passport or some other federal ID that would qualify."

On Thursday, the Missouri Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted 4-3 to send the measure to the full senate.

Once the senate votes on the legislation, it will then move to the house.

Representative Walker says he feels overall, REAL ID will be beneficial for the state.

He says he will vote on the measure once it gets to the house.

"This is just common sense. This is just being able to comply with a federal ID that other states have done. I don't think it's anything that's out of the way. I am going to support it and hopefully the legislature will get this addressed this year."

The senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.

Other forms of acceptable identification to present to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are passports, trusted traveler cards and military IDs.

The Department of Homeland Security reminds travelers that at this time, no travel plans need to be adjusted.

The Show-Me-State will alert residents if an when it is REAL ID compliant so licenses and IDs can be changed.

To learn more about the REAL ID, click here.

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