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Greitens signs REAL ID bill, moving Missouri toward compliance with federal law

Commerical planes parked at a St. Louis Lambert International Airport terminal.
St. Louis Lambert International Airport

Updated at 8:10 p.m. with how much it'll cost to switch to a REAL ID license — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill Monday aimed at averting a scenario in which Missouri residents could have been turned away at airports starting in January for lack of valid identification.

The legislation will give residents the option to get driver's licenses or other identification cards that comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Compliance with the tougher proof-of-identity requirements is necessary at airports, some federal facilities and military bases.

The federal government has said Missouri licenses won't be valid at airports in 2018 if they're not compliant. But some lawmakers have raised concerns about privacy over the federal law's requirement that states retain license personal documents, such as birth certificates.

The soon-to-be law allows the state to issue two types of licenses based on the applicant’s wish: compliant or noncompliant. It also makes it a crime to misuse or unlawfully distribute a driver’s data and bans storing Social Security numbers in a database that the state or federal government has access to, with exceptions.

There is more than $437,000 in the budget that takes effect July 1 for the law, which takes effect Aug. 28. Kansas City Republican Sen. Ryan Silvey's office said that if a Missouri resident wants to switch to a REAL ID-compliant license before his or her current license expires, it'll cost the full price of a license: $16. (Silvey sponsored the REAL ID bill during the regular session.)

Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt was one of the original co-sponsors of the 2005 REAL ID Act.

Marshall Griffin contributed to this report.