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Feds won’t accept Missouri, Illinois driver’s licenses at federal facilities

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MISSOURI/ ILLINOIS, AP_ Missouri residents soon will no longer be able to use their state driver’s licenses as identification to get into most federal facilities.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sent a letter to Missouri stating that its exemption from federal Real ID requirements will come to an end Jan. 10. The letter to Missouri’s revenue director was dated Monday and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The decision means that Missouri driver’s licenses cannot be accepted as ID at military bases and most other federal facilities.

The 2005 Real ID Act set tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in order for state driver’s licenses to be valid for federal purposes.

Missouri was among several states that fought back by passing their own laws prohibiting compliance with Real ID.

An Illinois driver’s license won’t be enough identification to get into most federal facilities after Jan. 10 when the state’s exemption from federal Real ID requirements ends.

By summer, it could mean Illinois driver’s licenses won’t be accepted as identification for commercial airplane flights.

Illinois Secretary of State’s office spokesman David Druker says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has notified Illinois that its request for an extension has been denied. Illinois previously was granted two one-year extensions.

The 2005 Real ID act imposes tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in order for driver’s licenses to be valid for federal purposes. The law was passed after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Druker calls the federal decision “misguided and shortsighted.” Annual cost of complying would be at least $4 million.