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Real-deal behind the REAL ID Act

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The REAL ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum standards for the production and issuance of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. This Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting for official use driver licenses and identity cards from states unless the Department of Homeland Security determines the state meets set standards.

On Oct. 10, 2015, the Department of Defense was scheduled to implement phase 3b of the REAL ID Act. This phase requires persons requesting access to DOD installations and facilities to present a REAL ID Act compliant form of identification for identity proofing purposes. Because many states are yet to be fully compliant with the Act, the Office of the Secretary of Defense is still pending a final policy implementation date.

With regard to authorized credentials for access to DOD Installations, the following forms of identification meet minimum REAL ID Act standards for DOD installation access:

•Transportation Worker Identification Card
•United States Passport
•Permanent Resident Card/Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
•Foreign passport with a temporary (I-551) stamp or temporary (I-551) printed notation on a machine readable immigrant visa
•An employment authorization document that contains a photograph (Form I-766)
•Current/valid driver’s license (must contain photo, name, DOB, gender, height, weight, eye color and address) – must be from a Real ID Act compliant state
•ID card issued by Federal, State, and Local Government Agencies (must contain photo, name, DOB, gender, height, weight, eye color & address)
•U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Legacy Cards
•U.S. Coast Guard New Merchant Mariner Credential

Additionally, parents or legal guardians may provide any of the following credentials for the purpose of identity proofing for persons aged 18 and under who do not possess a photo ID:

•School record or report card
•Day care or nursery school record
•Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal

If not in possession of the above forms of identification, such as requestor only possesses a non-compliant state ID/License, then in addition one of the following supplemental sources of identity proofing documents will be required:

•School identification card with a photograph
•U.S. Military or draft record
•Native American Tribal Document
•U.S. Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA)
•Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Forms FS-545 or DS-1350)
•U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
•ID card for use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)

The State of New Mexico is not currently in compliance with the REAL ID Act. New Mexico is attempting to pass a Bill through the next session of the New Mexico Legislature addressing the issue. If the bill is passed the state may be granted an extension. If the Bill is not passed, New Mexico Licenses and IDs will no longer be an acceptable single source of identification for access to DoD Installations.

For the most current information concerning state-by-state compliance with the REAL ID Act, please visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs

You may be asking what all of this means for members of Cannon Air Force Base; if New Mexico Legislation is not passed prior to Jan. 10, 2016, and the DOD does not waive the implementation date, then individuals requesting unescorted access to Cannon will be required to present a form of REAL ID Act compliant identification or provide supplemental documentation such as a Social Security Card for identity proofing.

If a visitor requesting access to Cannon does not have REAL ID Act compliant form of identification and cannot provide supplemental identity proofing documents, then they must be escorted at all times while on base. All persons requesting unescorted access to Cannon will continue to be vetted through the National Crime Information Center, prior to being issued a locally produced ID or pass.

All locally produced IDs and passes for Cannon created before Jan. 10, 2016, will continue to be valid until their identified expiration date. For additional questions or concern, contact Eldon Williams at 575-784-2354.

Editor’s note: At this time, Cannon officials do not have a projected date regarding the potential for any Department of Defense policy waiver. This article is strictly informative. Additional information will be published as it is received and confirmed.