N.D. agency needs more time to complyNorth Dakota’s Department of Transportation has asked the federal government for more time to decide how to comply with new documentation rules for issuing driver’s licenses.
BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota’s Department of Transportation has asked the federal government for more time to decide how to comply with new documentation rules for issuing driver’s licenses.
The federal Department of Homeland Security has set a May 11 deadline for states to comply with the “Real ID” rules, but has allowed them to request extensions until Dec. 31, 2009. Francis Ziegler, North Dakota’s transportation director, said his agency requested an extension this week.
The rules require people to provide more documentation about their identity, and show they are legal residents of the United States. The law was recommended by the federal 9-11 Commission as a method of deterring terrorists.
Driver’s licenses that are compliant with federal ID standards will eventually be needed to board airplanes and enter federal buildings.
Ziegler said the extension will provide state officials with more time to digest the voluminous federal rules, and allow consultations with the Legislature, which meets in early 2009.
“What we have to do is sort through these rules and ultimately pick alternatives that will work best for North Dakota and implement those alternatives,” Ziegler said Friday.
The Department of Homeland Security says states that are granted extensions are expected to have approved programs for issuing driver’s licenses by Jan. 1, 2010.