After October 2020, Your Current Oregon Driver’s License Won’t Get You on a Plane Anymore

Twenty-six states have complied with the Real ID Act. Oregon hasn't.

A lot of Portlanders will fly out of PDX this holiday season using their driver's license for identification. Federal aviation security officials won't allow that much longer.

An Oregon driver's license does not meet the federal standards set by a law called the Real ID Act, which is intended to tighten security at airports and federal buildings. Twenty-six states have complied.

Oregon hasn't. This state's progress toward meeting the standard has been slowed by civil liberties concerns—the law punishes undocumented immigrants—and by the massive cost of upgrading Oregon Driving & Motor Vehicle Services' computer system: on the order of $100 million.

Here's how we fell behind schedule:

MAY 10, 2005
Responding to recommendations by the 9/11 Commission, Congress passes the Real ID Act to tighten security at airports and other federal facilities.

NOV. 16, 2007
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski issues an executive order requiring motorists to show a valid Social Security number when applying for a driver's license.

MAY 29, 2009
Lawmakers pass Senate Bill 536, which prohibits Oregon from spending state funds to implement the Real ID Act. In other words: We'll only do it if the feds pay
for it.

JULY 6, 2017
Eight years later, lawmakers pass SB 374, which repeals SB 536 and directs DMV to move toward complying with the Real ID Act—at state expense.

OCT. 1, 2018
Oregon receives the most recent of several waivers of compliance. It's good for a year, but Oregon DMV says it's confident we'll get another one after that. (The waiver allows Oregonians to use their licenses at airports and federal facilities in other states that already comply with Real ID.)

JULY 6, 2020
Fifteen years after the Real ID Act passes, Oregon expects to begin issuing driver's licenses that comply with the law.

OCT. 1, 2020
All states must be compliant: no flying without a Real ID or a passport.

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