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Recently, the Missouri Department of Revenue announced that it remains on track to begin offering REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and nondriver identification cards on March 25, 2019.

There are a few key points that I would like to share with you about the department’s compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. First, applying for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card is a choice under Missouri law, and not every person will necessarily need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card. Current Missouri driver’s licenses and ID cards will provide the same access as a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card until Oct. 1, 2020.

You do not need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to drive, vote or register to vote, to verify your age, state purposes or if you hold another form of identification that meets federal requirements, such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card. However, if you will need to access federal facilities like military bases and federal courthouses or need to enter nuclear power plants, you will need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID. You will also need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to fly domestically if you do not have a valid U.S. passport or passport card. The transaction and processing fees for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID will remain the same as they are currently, and you may find detailed fee information here. If you are unsure of the nearest licensing office location, you can find it using this location map. The department has also posted a frequently asked questions page regarding the REAL ID Act and Missouri’s compliance with the law on the department’s website.

Workforce development is one of our governor’s top priorities, and I have appreciated the opportunity to discuss this important issue with him. On March 7th, I traveled to businesses and training locations around the state with the governor to discuss workforce development and his proposed Fast Track program. The Fast Track program aims to encourage adults to continue their education by providing financial aid to cover tuition and training costs. Programs like these will increase the number of adults in high demand, skilled positions, and ultimately boost our economy. I am pleased to be the sponsor of the Fast Track legislation in the Senate.

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Stephen Barr, the assistant commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). We discussed state schools and the exceptional education and service they provide for their students. These schools meet the needs of our state’s most vulnerable children. There are two state schools in the 3rd Senatorial District: Special Acres, located in Park Hills, and Citadel School, located in Potosi. Dr. Barr and I explored ways in which we could provide additional funding opportunities for these schools. State schools are funded separately than public schools, so it is imperative to budget funds specifically for state schools.

I always appreciate hearing your opinions and concerns regarding your state government. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4008. You may write me at Gary Romine, Missouri Senate, State Capitol, Jefferson City, MO 65101; or email me at gary.romine@senate.mo.gov. For more information, please visit my official Senate webpage at www.senate.mo.gov/romine.

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