Legislators Split On Missouri ID Requirement Bill

Feb 23, 2017

Credit File / KBIA

A bill to make Missouri driver’s licenses compliant with the federal REAL ID Act is moving forward despite strong opposition. The bill has been sent to the House Fiscal Review Committee, where it’s scheduled to be heard February 23.  

In January 2018, Missouri license holders will not be able to fly on commercial aircrafts if they do not have an alternate form of ID, such as a passport, that is in compliance with the REAL ID Act. REAL ID is a set of minimum security standards for licenses. Right now, to enter federal buildings and nuclear power plants an ID must be in compliance with the Act.          

Opponents of the bill are against government overreach and want privacy for Missouri residents. They say the bill gives the federal government too much power by allowing them to mandate the license compliance. 

Missouri state Sen. Will Kraus, a republican, opposes the bill and said this bill is a step toward the federal government mandating that all citizens be required to have identification that is REAL ID compliant. He also said the bill is giving the federal government more power than is allowed by the constitution.

“Because they can’t do it directly they are doing it through coercion and forcing us by saying, if you don’t do this your citizens will not be able to ride on airplanes,” Kraus said.   

The sponsor of the bill, GOP Rep. Kevin Corlew, said, “This is an aspect where the mandate isn’t to the states, but to the federal agencies. To their military bases and to the department of homeland security and the TSA that regulates commercial air flights.” 

Corlew said he expects the bill to pass before session ends in May, but Kraus, along with others that are against the bill, has taken measures to slow the process.

Kraus said, “There are a number of house members and a number of senate members that have sent a letter to our attorney general asking him to stand on the side of privacy and Missouri residence to push back against the government overreach.”