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Arizona ID’s Breaking Federal Law

Written by Matthew Harris

[dropcap style=”style1″]I[/dropcap]t has come to our attention at CSJ that Arizona drivers licenses do not meet federal requirements. Even the new licenses that Arizonians were required to switch to in 2013 do not meet the requirements. What does this mean to you as a holder of an Arizona drivers license. Come 2016 it could cost you at least $15 dollars to get a new one that meets federal law, and as stated thats at the very least.

You may have to get a whole new federal mandated ID to go along with your license which would be more money out of your pocket and another bulge to your wallet, or you will have to show a passport which is even more expensive and a hassle to get. Just so that you can board domestic flights and enter into government buildings.

Kate Gellego, a Phoenix Councilwoman has already been denied entry into FEMA when she showed her Az Drivers License. Gallego was in D.C. to lobby for money to help rebuild the areas at south mountain that were heavily damaged by the flood the monsoon caused, but security wouldn’t let her in the building. Gallego’s passport actually had to be flown to her from Phoenix so she could be allowed into FEMA in order to continue the mission she was on.

Gellego had even asked the security guard at the building “Are you sure you would prevent an entire states residence from coming in?” In response the security guard stated “We are very serious about knowing who’s at our sensitive federal facilities. To Keep you safe, we have to know who you are.”

Arizona is one of seven states that has decided not to meet the requirements of the federal mandated ID’s, and the only bill (The Real ID Bill) that could help is dead in the house for now. The Bill would have given Arizona residents the ability to get a drivers license within the Real ID federal guidelines. But, you would have to pay once again to get another new license.

The bill sat in the house for some time and then was assigned to the Transportation Committee but by that time it was too late. House Transportation Committee Chairman Rick Gray said he would have heard SB 1273. He even stated that he would have supported it, if it had shown up earlier, before the deadline. This leaves the state of Arizona in a pinch, and rushing to get something worked out before the beginning of 2016 so that there aren’t thousands of travelers left stranded and officials left out of government buildings. We can only hope that they can get something worked out where we do not have to purchase any kind of new or extra ID, but so far it isn’t looking very hopeful.

Photo courtesy of ABC15

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