Monday, October 20, 2014

Being Foreigners From Tulsa

I was made aware of a serious dilemma facing Oklahomans soon, late last night when the wife of a close friend told Leticia and me over coconut cake and coffee that starting in 2016, 
Oklahomans may need passports in order to fly anywhere
out of state.
Anywhere, like Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, or Los Angeles.

At first, we Malcontents had doubts about this:  We just flew into Toronto, Ontario in June, and while we had our passports on us, we were not asked for them when we landed at Pearson International,
nor when we arrived in Halifax, nor when we got back in the USA in Dallas.  
~ Leticia was asked to provide hers twice, to cash traveler's cheques while in Halifax, but she was
not asked for hers anywhere else either.

But it seems to be true.  Lovingly lifted this morning from Fox23, Tulsa (Sept. 18): 

TULSA, Ok. — You may need a passport flying out of Tulsa International Airport soon even if you aren’t going to another country

The Real ID Act which put federal requirements on states to make sure government issued IDs aren’t given to illegal immigrants and end up potentially in the hands of terrorists.

But in 2007, Oklahoma passed a law rejecting the Real ID Act and has not complied since. Because of that, Oklahoma driver’s licenses are not considered a valid form of federal ID.
The law takes effect in 2015 when Real ID will take effect at the federal courthouse downtown. The following year in 2016, Real ID will also take effect at the airport.  (you know that I didn't compose those two awful sentences. Some, well-paid journalist did.)
FOX23 was told the Department of Public Safety, a state agency, cannot make any changes to driver’s licenses to comply with the act, until the 2007 state law is changed or repealed.
A spokeswoman for Tulsa International Airport said the airport is currently studying the issue, and they will comment on the new requirements and what passengers can do once they look over their current policies.

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