Enhanced ID Bill Sponsor Welcomes Extension by the US Department of Homeland Security
CONCORD -On Friday October 9th, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified state officials that as a result of ongoing legislative efforts to bring the state into compliance with federal REAL ID standards, New Hampshire had been granted an extension through June 1, 2016. During the extension period federal agencies, including the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), will continue to accept New Hampshire issued identification cards and driver's licenses for official purposes.
The extension comes as a result of efforts lead by New Hampshire House Speaker Pro Tempore Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry) who recently filed a bill that would bring New Hampshire into compliance. The legislation will come before the House in January.
“I’m grateful for DHS’s flexibility as the legislature works to get this enhanced ID bill processed as quickly as we can. Our goal is to have a bill passed, and a process in place, well before the June 1st deadline,” said Packard. “I’m also grateful that our early action on this issue has demonstrated to DHS our willingness to work toward a solution, avoiding unnecessary difficulty for our citizens.”
Packard continued, “With successful passage of the enhanced ID bill, our understanding is that we will then have a five year transition window during which time our current IDs will remain an acceptable form of identification for official purposes through 2020. This phased-in approach will ensure that no one has to rush out to renew their license. And if people choose not to get one, they will have that option, with the understanding that it may not be accepted in all places, or for travel purposes.”
Rep. Packard’s proposed legislation is in the final drafting stages and will be available for review in the coming weeks.