Legislation is needed for South Carolina to comply with the federal Real ID Act.
The state got another extension from the federal Department of Homeland Security so that South Carolina drivers’ licenses can still be used as ID to get into military bases and other federal sites until the state upgrades yo meet new federal standards.
State Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, told South Carolina Radio Network that he is hoping the new presidential administration can help. “We were able to work out an extension. We now have until June to try and get this straight. And hopefully we’ll have some more reasonable folks with the Trump Administration to deal with,” Grooms said.
The changes have faced stiff resistance in South Carolina. A state law was passed shortly after 2005 prohibiting compliance with the requirements. “We don’t want South Carolinians to have to needlessly to stand in line to get another driver license because of some bureaucrat in Washington saying we don’t like the way you keep your records,” said Grooms.
The extension means that a South Carolina driver’s license can be used for access to military and other federal facilities until the extension expires on June 6. The last extension was set to expire January 22. The restrictions are set to expand to airport security checkpoints in January 2018 if the state still has not come into compliance.
Grooms acknowledged that if the legislature cannot agree on compliance, then the state is right back to non-compliance when the extension ends. “Unless something changes we’ll be in the exact same position as right now,” Grooms said.
The reason for the post 9-11 terror attacks legislation is that supporters believe secure, modern identification should be consistent across the country and it should be linked to the data the individual used to get the driver’s license.