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Kennedy requests another REAL ID extension

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Posted at 8:00 AM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 09:00:11-04

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) is asking President Donald Trump to grant a one-year extension to the REAL ID deadline.

Starting on October 1, all Americans will be required to have a REAL ID to fly domestically. In a letter to the president, Kennedy says the deadline could cause significant disruptions to the nearly 125 million Americans who have obtained the more stringent identification.

"To expect 125 million Americans to obtain the REAL ID before the October 1 enrollment deadline seems nearly impossible," Kennedy wrote in a letter to Trump. "Achieving that goal within seven short months becomes even more unlikely given nationwide reporting that the process for obtaining a REAL ID can be overly bureaucratic and take hours upon hours from a person's work day."

In fact, getting a REAL ID in Louisiana is as easy as going to an Office of Motor Vehicles with the necessary forms of identification. To obtain a REAL ID driver's license or identification card, you will need to bring a certified copy of your birth certificate, unexpired U. S. passport, or permanent registration card to prove your identity, legal status, and date of birth. You'll also need to bring your Social Security card and two proofs of residence. Your current non-REAL ID license or ID card may be used as one of the proof of residence items as long as you are not changing your address on your new REAL ID license or card.

Congress passed legislation authorizing the REAL ID program in 2005 during President George W. Bush's first term. The Department of Homeland Security began phasing in the program in 2013, after at least two different postponements by Congress during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Louisiana's legislature banned compliance with the REAL ID act in 2008, claiming it was federal overreach into the state's authority and an intrusion on personal privacy. The legislature repealed that bill in 2014.

The federal government previously granted Louisiana two extensions to comply fully with the REAL ID act. The first pushed back the original January 22, 2018, deadline to October 10, 2018. The federal government then pushed back that deadline to October 1, 2020.