Missouri now has until August 2019 to fall in line with federal ID requirements, as the Department of Homeland Security on Monday extended the deadline.
The so-called Real ID law is meant to prevent terrorist attacks and fraud by heightening security standards.
Missouri is among 16 states that have not yet fully complied and if it doesn’t update IDs, residents eventually will have to present a passport to board a domestic flight.
The extension means residents can still fly using their current Missouri driver’s license.
In a statement, officials from the Missouri Department of Revenue, which oversees the issuance of driver licenses, said they are taking steps to come into compliance.
“The Department of Revenue has been working non-stop to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act, and we remain on track to achieve full implementation by March 2019,” said Joel Walters, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue.
Kansas City International Airport spokesman Joe McBride welcomed the news.
“Anytime the public sees a looming deadline they get confused and concerned on, ‘Can I even board an aircraft to go fly to visit my relatives?’ So it’s a sigh of relief on my part and also others at the airport,” McBride says.
Before this extension, Missouri was facing an October 10 deadline.
Some Missouri lawmakers have opposed the federal rule, citing privacy concerns.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3.