Arkansas Asks for More Time to Deal with REAL ID Law

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas officials have asked for more time to implement post-September 11 rules for new driver's licenses.

States face a May 11 deadline to comply with the REAL ID regulations, but Arkansas has requested a waiver.

The regulations could complicate air travel for those in states that haven't yet complied with the REAL ID program.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said that if states want their licenses to remain valid for air travel after May 2008, those states must seek a waiver indicating they want more time to comply with the legislation.

The deadline is an effort to get states to begin phasing in the REAL ID program.  Citizens born after December 1, 1964, would have six years to get a new license; older Americans would have until 2017.

So far, 17 states, including Arkansas, have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to the REAL ID Act's provisions, many due to concerns it will cost them too much to comply.

Both houses of the Arkansas General Assembly adopted a concurrent resolution last year urging Congress and Homeland Security to add "critical privacy and civil liberty safeguards" to the REAL ID law and to "fully fund" it or suspend its implementation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)