With South Carolinians facing a looming deadline that they may soon no longer be able to use their driver’s licenses to enter federal buildings or military installations, the governor is appealing to the White House for help.
The Charleston Post & Courier reported Gov. Henry McMaster met with members of President Donald Trump’s administration last weekend as he sought to give state residents a break from new federal ID requirements. According to the report, McMaster traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to seek either a waiver or another extension for meeting the REAL ID Act of 2005.
State leaders have refused to change South Carolina’s licenses or state-issued identification cards to meet the federal law’s criteria, believing it seeks too much personal information for a central database. However, the holdout means South Carolina photo identification will no longer be valid at federally-secured installations, such as military bases or office buildings where ID is required to enter.
The deadline was initially set to take effect in January, but the Department of Homeland Security agreed to grant a six-month extension until June.
Another complication is the requirement that the REAL ID-compliant cards are needed to fly on commercial airplanes. So South Carolinians would need an additional ID (such as a passport) in addition to their licenses in order to travel by plane starting in January 2018.
The report said McMaster also met with U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao during his trip to talk about his Feb. 6 letter to Trump seeking $5 billion for South Carolina’s infrastructure improvements.