Louisiana senator requests Real-ID extension

09/03/20

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has asked US President Donald Trump to consider one-year extension to the REAL ID deadline.

Under the current timeframe, all Americans will be required to have a REAL ID to fly domestically by October 1. 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."

Kennedy cited reports showing as many as 99 million people will not have the new ID in time. He says without the ID, you can’t fly.

“The very first day as many as 80,000 flyers would be turned away, and that would be a huge inconvenience and hassle for them, and hurt the economy,” says Kennedy.

“You got to pay extra fees, and basically get a new driver’s license. If other states departments of motor vehicles are as archaic and slow as ours in Louisiana, we are going to have a big mess,” says Kennedy.

Real ID was passed 15 years ago, and Kennedy says he wants to use the year to find out whether or not it’s even needed. So far, he says he’s not convinced.

“Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time, but so far nobody has been able to articulate to me how a national ID would improve security of any kind,” says Kennedy.

 

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