Oklahoma is behind the rest of the country in issuing federally compliant identification cards under the Real ID law.
And now, it's going to be more costly for Oklahomans.
David Ostrowe, the state’s secretary of digital transformation and administration, said the costs of implementing Real ID are “astronomical.”
At one point, the federal government offered to help pay for the implementation, but lawmakers rejected the help. In 2017, when then-Gov. Mary Fallin signed Real ID implementation into law, Oklahomans were expected to have to pay millions.
So, because the state rejected the help of the federal government to help pay for the implementation, the state raised the price of driver licenses several dollars to fund implementation. Oklahomans will foot the bill.
Under Oklahoma law, residents don't have to get the Real ID. But, you better have a valid passport or another valid form of federal ID if you want to access federal facilities and military bases or fly domestically. That's the only way to get around not having a Real ID. Without it, your current ID won't be recognized. If you plan to fly to visit family, you'll remain grounded without the Real ID or other federal ID. Need to access a federal building? No way without the Real ID or an accepted alternative.
The deadline is October for Oklahoma to be compliant. There may, or may not, be an extension. There's no way of knowing when, or if, you will need the Real ID.
We recommend getting the Real ID. It costs the same as Oklahoma ID, it just involves rounding up more paperwork. Better to be safe than sorry if an emergency arises.