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Juneau – Saturday night, the Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 74 to give the Alaska Department of Administration authority to adopt regulations to comply with the Federal REAL ID Act. The bill was sponsored by the House Rules committee at the request of Governor Walker, and carried on the House floor by Representative Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks).
Without this legislation, Alaska’s waiver from the Federal law will expire on June 6th and Alaskans would lose the ability to use state driver’s license or state identification cards to access military bases. Further, starting January 22nd 2018, Alaska state ID’s and driver’s licenses would no longer be accepted by TSA at airports. With final passage of this bill, Alaska’s waiver will be extended to allow the State of Alaska time to implement REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and ID’s.
“I sympathize with my fellow Representatives from both the Majority and Minority who oppose this bill, and Alaskans who view the Federal requirements for state ID’s as federal overreach,” said Rep. Wool. “However, because of serious complications for Alaskans if the State refuses to comply with the federal law, the Alaska Legislature has to work within those realities to do what is best for Alaskans.”
Alaska’s congressional delegation has advised the Alaska Legislature that there is no congressional movement toward altering the federal requirements. This corroborates advice from the Department of Homeland Security that most states are either already REAL ID compliant or progressing in that direction.
House Bill 74 passed the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 25-9. Following a reconsideration vote, the bill will be transmitted to the Alaska State Senate.