Beginning October 10, 2016, Oregon driver licenses will no longer be accepted identification to access certain federal facilities and nuclear power plants. Congress, in enacting the REAL ID Act in 2005, began a phase-in process requiring states to either update the security of driver’s licenses or require their citizens to provide an additional form of acceptable alternative identification for some activities.
The REAL ID Act was passed after a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources such as drivers licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production, and prohibits Federal agencies for accepting non-compliant state-issued licenses. Oregon received a one-year extension for the first phase-in of the law, but the restriction is up in October.
Oregon has yet to meet the minimum security standards for federally accepted driver’s licenses. However, Oregon driver’s license holders will still be able to enter Federal facilities that do not require identification, register to vote, apply and receive Federal benefits, receive health services, and participate in law enforcement proceedings. In 2018, the Act will prohibit commercial airlines from taking Oregon drivers licenses for domestic travel, unless Oregon complies with the Act’s requirements by that time.
A list of acceptable alternative IDs can be found on the Department of Homeland Security website.