CAPITOL REPORT: REPRESENTATIVE PATRICIA PIKE
Have you applied for your REAL ID- compliant Driver License? Starting Oct. 1, 2020, Missourians who want to fly domestically will need a REAL ID-compliant driver license or identification card. The Missouri Department of Revenue began offering compliant licenses and identification cards in March in an effort to satisfy requirements of the federal REAL ID Act and its regulations. Missourians can continue to use their existing forms of identification, but if they want to board federally-regulated domestic flights or enter federal facilities such as a military base or federal courthouse, they will need to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card.
During the 2017 legislative session, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation to allow residents to obtain a photo ID that is compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. Because the current version of the Missouri driver license is not compliant, the Department of Homeland Security announced in January of 2016 that Missourians would not be able to enter federal facilities and would not be able to fly domestically beginning in 2018. With the legislation approved in 2017, the federal government granted extensions and a grace period to allow Missourians to continue to use their existing IDs for these purposes until Oct. 1, 2020.
The law approved by the General Assembly simply gives Missourians the option to obtain a REAL ID-compliant ID. It does not require anyone to do so. Those who do want to obtain a new license should be aware that REAL ID does have document requirements that are different from what Missourians are used to. Applicants for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card must submit proof of identity, lawful status, Social Security number and two documents verifying Missouri residency. Additional documents may be required to verify a name change or use of an alternate mailing address.
The Missouri Department of Revenue has developed a user-friendly, interactive guide to help ensure customers know which documents are required to apply for a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card. The guide walks customers through a series of questions and ultimately provides a custom list of documents they should bring to the license office when they are ready to apply. Missourians can visit dor.mo.gov/drivers/real-id-information/ for a complete listing of acceptable documents for REAL ID-compliant license and ID card processing and to access the REAL ID interactive guide, as well as other important information regarding REAL ID.
Missouri Continues to Invest in Transportation Infrastructure
It was during the 2019 legislative session that the Missouri General Assembly worked with Gov. Mike Parson to approve several key proposals that will improve Missouri’s aging transportation network. Lawmakers approved both a $50 million appropriation in the state budget and a $301 million bonding plan that will result in the state being able to repair or replace 250 bridges across the state. Legislators also approved an additional $50 million in funding to create the Governor’s Transportation Cost-Share Program.
The cost-share program represents an effort to build partnerships between the state and local communities. Together they can pool efforts and resources to ensure much-needed road and bridge projects are completed. In an important step forward for this effort to improve Missouri’s roads and bridges, Gov. Parson recently announced that guidelines and applications for the cost-share program are now available online. They can be accessed at https://www.modot.org/governors-transportation-cost-share-program.
Applications for the program must be submitted by October 1, 2019. The Cost Share Committee, which is made up of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s chief engineer, chief financial officer, assistant chief engineer, two director-appointed employees, and DED staff, will select projects with the greatest economic benefit to the state. The selected projects will then be presented to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission for approval.
Approved projects will have the benefit of partnering with the Missouri Department of Transportation to complete their road and bridge projects. The cost-share program will match the local investment up to 50 percent of construction contract costs. In the event a targeted investment can generate additional economic development, the program can utilize set-aside funds to provide up to 100 percent of the project’s construction contract costs.