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Montana senators seek REAL ID waiver

MISSOULA – U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines have asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for an emergency waiver from the REAL ID Act, which established security standards for driver’s licenses in order to use them to access federal property.

Montana’s last request for an extension to implement the act was denied in November and the requirements are scheduled to take effect Monday.

Tester and Daines wrote to Kelly on Wednesday raising concerns that citizens’ privacy rights could be violated as a result of the REAL ID Act.

U.S. District Courts in Montana have already said driver’s licenses can be used as identification to enter courthouses, but beginning Monday people will need some form of compliant identification, like a passport, to access Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls. Starting Jan. 30, 2018, Montana driver’s licenses will not be accepted as valid IDs at airports.