CS Masthead


Federal Courthouses Exempt From REAL ID

According to documents released by the United States District Court of Montana, the REAL ID act will not restrict Montanans from entering federal courthouses, such as the one in Great Falls.

The concern was brought up when Montana continued to combat REAL ID and was denied a third extension in November. Because Montana will not comply with REAL ID, the federal government will no longer allow Montana drivers licenses to be accepted when entering nuclear plants, military bases or federal buildings starting Jan. 30.
This raised the question about what individuals without a passport, or other form of compliant REAL ID, would do when summoned for jury duty. However, an exception will be made when concerning Montana. Standard screening to enter the courthouse will continue and Montana drivers licenses will be accepted to enter federal courthouse buildings. 
Senators Daines and Tester have both been vocally opposed to REAL ID since its initial passing. Both voiced concern over citizens privacy and a database of individuals who hold REAL ID compliant documents.
Recently the senators filed for emergency waver as to not have Montanans lives disrupted by the act. In a letter to the Department of Homeland Security the senators wrote, “A vendor in Great Falls will no longer be able to access Malmstrom Air Force Base to drop off their deliveries without additional identification. Further, some veterans seeking care could face difficulties in entering a base to see their doctor.”
Tester and Daines continued, “The passport application fee is $110 for someone over the age of 16 and $80 for a child. Moreover, it can take up to six weeks to receive a passport after completing an application. This extended wait can be a significant obstacle to families in cases of emergencies that require air travel.”
The next step for the senators is a bipartisan legislation to fully repeal the REAL ID act. No hearing has been scheduled yet.
In January 2018, Montanans wont even be able to get on a commercial aircraft with their drivers licenses.