Homeland Security grants SC extension for “Real ID” compliance

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Homeland Security has given South Carolina another extension to make changes to state drivers licenses. Right now, your South Carolina ID isn’t compliant with the country’s “Real ID Act,” which was enacted after the 9-11 attacks.

For now, you can use your driver’s license to get access to state military bases and to fly from state to state, but if changes aren’t made by January 2018, your ID alone won’t get you past security.

Briefing the state Senate Transportation Committee, Wednesday, South Carolina DMV Director, Kevin Shwedo explained what’s behind an extension to bring state id’s into compliance.

“The desired end state with the Real ID Act is to ensure that all 50 states conform to the law before September 30th of 2020,” said Shwedo. “If that happens and we have compliant cards, then people will be able to gain access through that entire period and into the future.”

The Real ID Act of 2005 “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification.” This includes verifying the id of every license applicant, conducting background checks and installing anti-counterfeit technology on each card.

The law hasn’t been a popular one in South Carolina, with some lawmakers calling it government overreach.

The State newspaper reports that in December meetings between Lt Governor Henry McMaster and military officials, they discussed the “headaches” the state could face if they didn’t comply with law. This includes denied civilian access to South Carolina military bases to make deliveries or do construction and the inability to use a driver’s license as an approved id to fly.

In a statement, Senator Larry Grooms who heads the Senate Transportation Committee said, “We look forward to working with the new administration to continue our common sense approach that we use here in South Carolina. Mr. Trump’s presidency cannot come soon enough.”