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Montanans can apply for REAL ID cards in January

(GREAT FALLS) The Montana Department of Justice’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has launched a website to provide information about REAL ID.

The site provides answers to frequently asked questions and allows people to sign up for an email notification list when appointments are available to obtain a REAL ID compliant license.

In 2017, the Montana Legislature and Governor Steve Bullock directed MVD to create an optional driver license that complies with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

Montanans can apply for a REAL ID beginning in January 2019.

“Over the last year, we’ve been working toward REAL ID implementation by acquiring the necessary equipment to issue compliant credentials and producing outreach materials like this new website,” MVD Administrator Sarah Garcia said in a press release. “Before the end of the year, we will launch a public service announcement campaign, created through a partnership with MSU-Billings students. We want to give Montanans ample time and accurate information to decide if a REAL ID license is right for them.”

Last fall, Montana received an extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for REAL ID implementation. The extension expires October 10, 2018.

At this time, Montana drivers’ licenses are accepted by the Transportation Security Administration to board domestic commercial flights and access federal facilities. MVD has requested another one-year extension and is awaiting the decision. MVD continues work closely with DHS to ensure full compliance with the law.

The MT REAL ID website states: "You are not required to get a Montana REAL ID compliant license or ID; however, a Montana REAL ID compliant license or ID or another acceptable form of identification is required to fly domestically and access federal facilities by October 2020. Alternative options, such as a passport or passport card, are acceptable forms of identification as well."

For more information, visit the MT REAL ID website.

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