Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Homeland Security Grants Pa. Extension on Federal Id Law State Has 5 Months to Show It Is Complying

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Homeland Security Grants Pa. Extension on Federal Id Law State Has 5 Months to Show It Is Complying

Article excerpt

Pennsylvania officials have won a five-month extension to show progress on complying with the federal REAL ID law, but they haven't developed a blueprint for meeting the federal standard.

Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders announced Thursday the Department of Homeland Security has granted an extension until June 6. Without the extension, state residents would not have been able to use their driver's license or state-issued ID card to enter many federal facilities after Jan. 30.

The more difficult restriction would begin Jan. 22, 2018, when residents would no longer be able to use those forms of identification to get through airport security.

Federal officials, who in October told Pennsylvania and four other states they would grant no more extensions because they had not been making progress to comply with the 2005 law, granted the extension in a letter to the state Wednesday. Mr. Wolf and legislative leaders had written Homeland Security on Friday asking for an extension and committing to taking action during the new legislative session that started this month.

But despite that commitment, legislative leaders said Thursday they are still mapping out a plan to comply with the law.

"I don't think anybody really knows [how the state will comply]," said Steve Miskin, spokesman for the House Republican caucus.

Mr. Miskin said the state is taking a two-prong approach: asking its federal legislators whether the law can be changed and working across party lines to develop a compliance plan.

"We still have work to do, but we are confident we can do it in a timely fashion," said Jennifer Kocher, communications director for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre. "We recognize something has to be done to allow residents access to federal facilities and we are fairly confident we can get there."

The state maintains it is in "substantial compliance" with the law, which was passed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The law requires states to change their driver's licenses to reduce counterfeiting; to collect identification records when issuing licenses and make them available to federal officials; and to do more thorough background checks on employees issuing licenses. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.