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4:28 PM Tue, Dec. 11th

Arizona sets April deadline to have REAL ID cards available

Arizona has been granted more time to come up with identification cards that meet federal requirements. (Courtesy)

Arizona has been granted more time to come up with identification cards that meet federal requirements. (Courtesy)

PHOENIX - The Arizona Motor Vehicle Department plans to have "REAL ID" licenses and identification cards available to the public by April, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation said.

The Arizona Voluntary Travel ID complies with the REAL ID Act of 2005, which enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses."

States have made significant progress in enhancing the security of their licenses over the last few years. About 70 percent to 80 percent of U.S. drivers hold licenses from jurisdictions that meet REAL ID standards, or have received extensions.

"ADOT has been granted an extension by the Department of Homeland Security to give us the time we need to develop the new ID and have it available to the public for purchase," ADOT spokesman Ryan Harding said in an email to the Daily Miner.

It will be available as both a driver's license and identification card. Arizona residents will have the option to obtain either one.

The ID will serve as adequate documentation to pass through airport security to board commercial aircraft, as well as restricted areas in federal facilities, nuclear power plants and military facilities.

"Homeland Security has told us that full enforcement of the REAL ID Act for Arizona credentials won't take place until October 2020," Harding added. "That means current Arizona credentials will continue to be accepted at airport security and federal buildings. This will give people a few years to obtain one if they so choose."

More information on the REAL ID can be found on the Department of Homeland Security website at www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.