Alaska IDs good for air travel through at least October 2016

(Image via the Department of Homeland Security)
(Image via the Department of Homeland Security)

The state of Alaska has been granted an extension until October 2016 to meet the requirements of the federal Real ID Act.

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The Real ID Act requires that state IDs and drivers licenses come into compliance with federal standards in order to do things like fly or enter federal buildings.

Leslie Ridle is deputy commissioner for the state Department of Administration.

“It’s status quo for now,” she said. “People are fine with what they have and people shouldn’t panic about their IDs and their drivers license. They are good to travel right now and they will be through October 2016 at a minimum.”

Currently, Alaska does not meet certain aspects of the law. And that’s unlikely to change, due to a state statute prohibiting the use of state assets solely to come into compliance with the Real ID Act.

For instance, the inclusion of a Homeland Security-approved security mark is unlikely to be covered by state funding, unless the statute is changed.

Ridle says some the state’s processes are already up to the federal standards.

“That has allowed them to give us the extension, but I’m not sure if, after this year, we’ll have to see if we can continue to meet their qualifications to at least get an extension,” Ridle said.

The state is planning on filing for another extension, but until then, Alaska IDs and drivers licenses will work just fine through at least October 2016.

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Josh is the web producer for alaskapublic.org.

He has been a part of the web team since his internship during the summer of 2010.

Besides maintaining the website, he also reports for the Alaska Public Radio Network, gives occasional live news updates on KSKA 91.1FM during All Things Considered, runs camera and directs programs for Alaska Public Television, and has taken numerous photos and videos that appear on alaskapublic.org.

Prior to graduating from the Journalism and Public Communications Department at the University of Alaska Anchorage in December 2010, Josh worked at The Northern Light student newspaper where he and his staff won two Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Awards.

He has also been an adjunct instructor for the JPC department at UAA.

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Josh enjoys being outdoors, so when isn’t at work, you can usually find him out fishing, camping, hunting, four-wheeling, or snowmachining.

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