State isn’t complying with federal REAL ID program
BOSTON — In a few months, you may not be allowed into federal buildings with just a Massachusetts driver’s license.
In two years, getting through airport security could be tricky, too.
Massachusetts is one of 11 states that has not met federal requirements for REAL identification.
REAL identification is a driver’s license that the federal government will accept under a law passed in 2005 as part of the 9/11 Commission Report.
Among the stipulations: the identification guarantees the person is a legal resident or citizen of the United States. Only 11 states, including Massachusetts, haven’t complied.
“You might not be able to board an airplane with your driver’s license only,” Massachusetts Sen. Bruce Tarr said. “You might even not be allowed to visit the people that made this law.”
Beginning in April, getting into federal buildings may be a problem if you only have a Massachusetts driver’s license as your photo identification.
Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey told NewsCenter
5, “The state is working with the department and we expect, as they have, to continue to show flexibility with us. I can’t guarantee it.”
However, the federal government is running out of patience and has set a 2016 deadline for airport security checkpoints.
The Patrick administration is dragging its heels because it hopes immigration laws will change by then.
What’s not legal now could be legal by then, officials say.
“We could speculate on all manner of things we don’t want to comply with if we don’t want to comply with them, but the fact of the matter is it is the law and we need to move forward,” Tarr said.