POSTED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 6:32pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 6:34pm
BATON ROUGE,LA (NBC33) — The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles is hustling to get a special pass from the department of homeland security to keep Louisiana ID working into next year.
Louisiana ID's and drivers licenses don't meet federal requirements for the Real ID Act.
If Louisiana licenses aren't fixed by January 15 state ID won't get you onto planes or into federal buildings. Travelers will have to bring your passport.
There are 17 states that could face problems early next year.
The state office of motor vehicles says there's not enough time to get into compliance, and the changes could end up costing a lot of money.
The Real ID Act requires states to make changes to the procedure and safety protocol for identification.
One area that would feel the effects if the state doesn't comply is traveling.
Traveler Nita Sibley knows what she needs to board a plane.
"A boarding pass and my ID. a driver's license I believe," said Sibley.
Soon that could change if Louisiana doesn't meet federal standards for ID's. Louisiana travelers would need a passport to take the same trip.
"It's going to make it even longer," said Sibley. "I don't think if I'm traveling with in the United States, and I am a United States citizen I should have to have a passport and a drivers license."
The US Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005. The goal of the law is to add more security checks to driver's licenses to make sure whoever applies is who they say they are.
A Louisiana law passed in 2008 makes it illegal for the state to complying with the Real ID Act. The office of motor vehicles says Louisiana ID's are secure.
"No one is more concerned about security and terrorist threats and all that then we are, but we have to do it with reason and give states some time to do that," said Louisiana Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Stephen Campbell.
Campbell says he's asked the department of homeland security to grant louisiana a pass.
"We are hoping the department of homeland security will say everything that Louisiana has done up to this time will satisfy that requirement," said campbell. "It's not clear right now."
Campbell says forcing people to use passports to get into federal buildings and onto planes could cause a huge problem, because many people don't have a passport.
Frequent traveler Darlene Burton doesn't have a passport. Burton says, "I will have to. I travel a lot for work i'm definitely going to. I have to fly, so I would have to apply for my passport. "
Travelers say the ID swap will only add to the headache at the airport.
"I think it's going to make everything a lot more complicated than it already is in terms of having to go through security check points and everything else," said Burton.
Campbell says changes like taking pictures when you walk into the DMV and collecting paperwork up front are in the works. He says the state should be up to standards at the end of next year.