Unless Missouri Senate acts quickly, residents may need passport when flying

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) – Missouri senators debated but ultimately tabled a plan Tuesday to issue "Real ID" compliant driver’s licenses to residents.

Missouri is one of four states not in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, and if the problem is not fixed, Missourians will need a passport to board domestic flights in 2018. Missourians who want to go onto a military installation are already dealing with this issue.

Congress passed the REAL ID Act as a security measure after the 9/11 attacks to tighten restrictions for obtaining a driver's license.

Back in 2009, Missouri lawmakers passed legislation to bar Missouri from complying, with supporters of that legislation citing privacy concerns. Former Gov. Jay Nixon signed that legislation into law.

Supporters did not like that the Department of Revenue would be able to store information like social security numbers and other source documents and share the information with other states.

When the senate debated a compromised plan Tuesday morning, senators concerned about privacy were still the holdouts.

Activist Hillary Shields from the organization Invisible KC tried to chase down Sen. Will Kraus (R-Lee's Summit) and explain why she is worried about her husband being able to travel for work.

"If we're one of the only states in the country that's not compliant, why would a business come here," Shields said. "Why would they want their employees here if they know it's just going to be one more hoop that they have to jump through. I think it makes us kind of backward looking. People look at us like we're flyover country sometimes and this isn't helping."

The bill the Senate discussed is a compromise to allow Missourians to choose between a REAL ID compliant ID and a non-compliant one.

Fox 2 approached Kraus and Sen. Rob Schaff (R-St.Joseph) to inquire about their opposition to REAL ID compliance, but both declined interviews.

Gov. Eric Greitens in recent weeks has asked the Trump administration to intervene, and has not ruled out a special session if lawmakers don't meet the Friday afternoon deadline for getting a bill to his desk.