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Montana Driver’s Licenses Under Fire by Department of Homeland Security

Driver's license
Photo courtesy of Jon King

The Department of Homeland Security and the state of Montana are arguing over whether or not Montana’s Driver’s licenses are good enough to meet national standards. The fight has been going on for years now, but things recently escalated when the the Department of Homeland security sent a letter to Montana Governor Steve Bullock in late December on the issue.

“This is just another chapter in what’s been a pretty long going process here where the Department of Homeland Security in their desire to implement what we consider a boondoggle,” said Bullock’s Deputy Chief of Staff Kevin O’Brien responds. Real ID is once again saying that Montana’s drivers licenses don’t meet up and they would like us to institute what would essentially be a national ID, a federal ID card.”

Governor Steve Bullock has said the Real ID program requires states to give up too much personal information to the federal government. Now, the Department of Homeland Security is threatening to limit where Montanans can go with their driver’s licenses.

“They’re setting another time frame that would prohibit Montanans from entering federal buildings at some point later this year in 2014 and further restrictions that would they say would impede our ability to board aircraft in 2016, but again, we’re going to be fighting it because there’s no reason our safe and secure IDs that we have should be turned down,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien says the Governor’s office is drafting an official response letter that should be sent out before the end of January.


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