Thursday, February 28, 2008

State's rejection of new driver's license rules may hurt air travelers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians planning on air travel this year could find things more complicated than they remember if a Senate bill becomes law.

The state would be barred from participating in the federal REAL ID Act, which would set national standards for driver's licenses, by a bill approved Monday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The federal Department of Homeland Security has warned that states which don't file paperwork saying they need extra time to comply with the law will face consequences starting in May. The most significant would be that driver's licenses from non-complying states would not be valid identification for boarding an airplane anywhere in the U.S.

Instead, other forms of identification, like birth certificates or passports, would have to be used.

The bill, which now comes before the full Senate, calls the act "inimical to the security and well-being of the people of West Virginia," with supporters saying Monday the federal guidelines amount to an invasion of privacy. Read more..

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