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Bill Establishing REAL ID Compliance in Oklahoma Sent to Governor's Desk

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Oklahoma’s decade-long opposition to implementing provisions of the federal REAL ID Act appears to be over.

State senators approved the fast-tracked compliance bill on a 35 to 11 vote, sending it to the governor’s desk for Mary Fallin’s signature. Sen. David Holt led presentation of House Bill 1845 on the floor.

"It doesn't meet any one person's ideal bill. That is the nature of the process, and there have been arguments been made by people who will vote no that I found interesting and compelling," Holt said. "But, in the end, I've prioritized my citizens' desire to have a functional drivers license above all else."

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz framed the issue as one of national security.

"If REAL ID ultimately, at the end of the day, prevents one of those people from entering this country and detonating a device that harms our citizens or harms our property, then we've done our job," Schulz said.

Sen. Nathan Dahm maintained his opposition based on the need to potentially share with the federal government certain biometric data of citizens choosing compliant ID.

"When the federal government comes to us and says, 'You have to have facial recognition incorporated into your drivers licenses to be REAL ID compliant, or iris scans or you will not be able to board a plane,' I hope that at that day, we fight it," Dahm said.

The bill lets Oklahomans choose a compliant or noncompliant ID. It also increases most driver license and identification card fees by $5.

Compliant ID or a passport will eventually be needed to board domestic flights and enter federal buildings.