Senator proposes bill to bring AZ driver's licenses to federal standard

Can you imagine having to show a passport to fly from Phoenix to Los Angeles or Las Vegas? If Arizona lawmakers don't act soon, it could happen.

Right now, lawmakers are trying to push through a bill to get Arizona Driver's Licenses up to the RealID federal standards.

If they don't, by the end of the year people with Arizona licenses could be required to use passports to fly within the United States.

Right now, the licenses don't meet standards, because of that an Arizona State Senator says some people are already being turned away from federal buildings, next year it could be airports.

"I had two phone calls today from people who tried to get into federal buildings in Washington D.C. and were turned away," said Senator Bob Worsley.

Worsley warns that next year people could be turned away at Sky Harbor Airport because the licenses fail to meet the federal standards, the only way to board would be with a passport.

"I think a lot of people will be upset," he said.

The Real ID Act was setup after 9/11/2001 to set up minimum security standards for state licenses and identification cards.

"Arizona you know how we act, sometimes when we're told by the federal government we need to do something, we're kind of like that rebellious teenager. We said no we're not, so we've passed a ban, and we said we're not going to do it," said Worsley.

Opponents fear the new ID would serve as a tracking device, or that it's the governments way of trying to make money. Worsley said the new ID will have a gold star in it, designed to stop counterfeiting.

"So there's misinformation, fearmongering, that is some sort of federal surveillance and secret spying on Arizona citizens, it's just not true," he said.

Worsley's bill that passed the Senate allows Arizona residents who want a new license that meets the federal standards to get one; it's expected to cost $15.

"That is not mandatory, that is for those who want to get this and volunteer for this new license," said Worsley.

The bill moves to the House; the Senator hopes it will pass and be on the Governor's desk next month.

Four other states have licenses that do not meet the RealID standards they are Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, and New Hampshire.
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