Repeal advanced for ID change ban
BATON ROUGE - Senators advanced a bill to repeal a 2008 law that prohibits state officials from issuing driver's licenses with federally-mandated security features that raised privacy concerns.
Under federal law, REAL ID-compliant licenses will be required to board domestic airline flights by 2016. Without such an ID, passengers will be required to produce a passport or could be subject to intense questioning from airport security.
The Senate transportation committee agreed without objection to a proposal by Rep. Karen St. Germain, D-Pierre Part, that would adopt a two-tiered system, allowing those who want to get licenses with the security features to do so and those who don't to decline.
"I want to make sure my constituents have every possible choice," St. Germain said.
Opponent Sandy McDade, with the conservative Louisiana Power Coalition, said allowing compliance with REAL ID would put the federal government in charge of Louisiana's driver's license.
"I think it's time to say no to the federal government," she said, unsuccessfully urging senators to kill the bill.
The House already has agreed to the idea (House Bill 907), which moves next to the full Senate for consideration.
Col. Mike Edmonson, the head of Louisiana State Police, who supported the bill, said Louisiana needs to scan into a database and store the birth certificates of people with drivers' licenses to move into compliance with the federal law.