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Why Is Missouri Not Real ID Compliant

Title: Why Is Missouri Not Real ID Compliant?
Word count: 1000 words


The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. These standards were implemented to enhance the security and authentication measures of identification documents, particularly in the context of federal facilities and domestic air travel. While most states have complied with the Real ID Act, there are a few exceptions, one of which is Missouri. This article aims to explore the reasons behind Missouri’s non-compliance with the Real ID Act and address some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to this issue.

Reasons for Missouri’s Non-Compliance:

1. Privacy Concerns:

One of the primary reasons for Missouri’s non-compliance with the Real ID Act is concerns regarding privacy and potential government overreach. Critics argue that the Act could lead to increased surveillance and the collection of personal data by the government. Many Missourians view the Act as an intrusion into their privacy rights, leading the state to take a stand against compliance.

2. Implementation Costs:

Complying with the Real ID Act requires significant investments in both technology and administrative processes. Missouri officials have cited the substantial financial burden associated with implementing the necessary systems and infrastructure upgrades as a barrier to compliance. The state legislature has been hesitant to allocate funds for this purpose, considering it an unnecessary expense.

3. State Sovereignty:

Missouri’s non-compliance can also be seen as an expression of state sovereignty. The state has a long-standing tradition of asserting its independence from federal mandates. Missouri officials argue that the federal government should not dictate how the state manages its identification system. This sentiment aligns with the broader concern among some states about federal overreach and the erosion of state authority.

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4. Opposition from Advocacy Groups:

Advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have voiced concerns about the potential discriminatory impact of the Real ID Act. They argue that the Act may disproportionately affect marginalized communities, including immigrants and low-income individuals. Such concerns have contributed to the resistance against compliance in states like Missouri.


1. Can I use my Missouri driver’s license for domestic flights?

Yes, you can still use your Missouri driver’s license for domestic flights until October 1, 2023. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Missouri an extension, allowing residents to continue using their current licenses as a valid form of identification for air travel within the United States.

2. What happens after October 1, 2023?

After the October 1, 2023 deadline, Missouri residents will need an alternative form of identification that complies with the Real ID Act to board domestic flights. Acceptable alternatives include a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, military ID, or DHS trusted traveler card (e.g., Global Entry).

3. Will I need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license for other purposes?

While Real ID-compliant identification is primarily required for access to federal facilities and domestic air travel, it may also be necessary for other purposes, such as entering nuclear power plants or gaining access to certain federal buildings. However, for general identification purposes like driving, voting, or purchasing alcohol, a Real ID-compliant license is not required.

4. How can I obtain a Real ID-compliant driver’s license in Missouri?

Missouri residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license by visiting their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office and providing the required documentation. This includes proof of identity, social security number, Missouri residency, and legal presence in the United States. Detailed information about the necessary documentation can be found on the Missouri DMV website.

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Missouri’s non-compliance with the Real ID Act can be attributed to various factors, including concerns about privacy, implementation costs, state sovereignty, and opposition from advocacy groups. While Missouri residents can still use their current driver’s licenses for domestic flights until October 1, 2023, it is essential to be prepared for the upcoming changes. Residents should familiarize themselves with alternative forms of identification and the process of obtaining a Real ID-compliant driver’s license to ensure a seamless transition.

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