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Alaska gets another year to comply with Real ID Act

Alaska will have another year to become compliant with the federal Real ID Act, state officials announced Wednesday.

The extension — lasting through Oct. 10, 2018 — was granted Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Alaska Department of Administration said.

In the meantime, Alaska's state-issued identification cards will continue to be accepted on military bases and at other federal facilities, spokesperson Minta Montalbo wrote in a release.

"This extension allows us to complete upgrades needed to produce higher security, compliant driver's licenses and identification cards," Leslie Ridle, commissioner of the Department of Administration, said in the release.

This year, the Legislature passed a bill allowing the state to move forward on meeting the requirements — efforts that had stalled since 2008, when legislation was passed barring the state from spending money on Real ID implementation.

The federal Real ID Act of 2005 created national standards for state identification. The Department of Motor Vehicles will be ready to produce compliant IDs by January 2019, Montalbo said.

Montalbo said that the state will likely ask for another extension next year. That will close the gap between October 2018, when the current extension ends, and January 2019, when the DMV is expected to be ready to make new, compliant identification.

In October 2020, all Alaskans will need a compliant state-issued card or other federal identification, such as a passport, for domestic travel, Montalbo wrote.

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