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Oklahomans still can fly using existing driver licenses

After days of confusion, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety issued notice Thursday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has approved Oklahoma’s REAL ID extension through Sept. 18, 2020.

But, Oklahoma will be in compliance with the federal mandate for the enhanced security licenses before that date, state officials said.

Multiple media outlets, citing various government officials and websites, reported earlier this week that beginning Oct. 10, Oklahoma driver licenses would no longer be accepted as identification for residents boarding aircraft, although others — including officials at Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport — said that was not true. The confusion stems from the fact that Oklahoma is among the states that have not upgraded its driver license process to make those documents compliant with the federal REAL ID mandate.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety said Thursday that Homeland Security has notified them of the extension, which is in place through Sept. 10, 2020.

Gov. Kevin Stitt said Oklahoma will have its REAL ID process in place before then. Public Safety Commissioner John Scully said the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will issue REAL IDs to Oklahomans beginning April 30, 2020, “in select locations.” His department website said the REAL ID process will be in place statewide by Aug. 31, 2020.

The federal government will continue to recognize Oklahoma driver licenses and ID cards for flying on commercial airlines until October 2020, said Barbara McNally, director of Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport. State officials acknowledged the confusion.

The Lawton Constitution

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