SOUTH CAROLINA — Legislation continues to move forward to bring South Carolina into compliance with REAL ID, the act passed after the Sept. 11 attacks, designed to create national consistency for driver’s licenses and state issues IDs.
Previously, state lawmakers have bucked the regulation — going so far as to pass laws that actually prohibited the implementation of the act — citing “states rights.”
That tune changed when it became apparent S.C. residents were going to be denied access to government facilities, nuclear power plants and turned away from boarding planes if they couldn’t produce a second form of ID like a passport or military ID.
Earlier this month, a measure was passed in the House that would bring the state’s licenses “up to code.”
Due to a more accepting stance on the REAL ID Act, Washington granted the state another extension, with the cut off date being June 6 of this year.
As progress continues, another extension is expected but Rep. Mark Willis, the bill’s sponsor, stated everything needs do be done by year’s end.
Despite the impact on S.C. residents if they don’t have a REAL ID, many people and organizations — including the ACLU — are still against the Act saying the measure is federal overreach and an invasion of privacy. It’s a worry that legislators are trying to calm by putting in some safeguards.
“I don’t understand the concern,” said Rep. Neal Collins. “First, we are slow pacing the legislation to see if the Trump Administration will enforce or if our federal delegation can extend our current exemption. Second, if someone is concerned about their privacy, many other forms of id require more information. Further, one does not have to obtain a compliant id. It’s an option. Third, those against the legislation have not offered a solution for my other constituents to fly, enter federal buildings, or enter military installations — things that drastically affect their jobs, lives, and families.”
As of now, five states are still refusing to comply with REAL ID: Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Missouri and Maine.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.