BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana driver's licenses would be used to comply with federal law requiring each state to create a national identification card for air travel, including domestic flights, under a proposal inserted Wednesday into a House bill by the Senate Transportation Committee.
Senators added that language into a separate measure by Rep. Johnny Guinn, R-Jennings. If approved by lawmakers, the provision would reverse a state stance since 2008 rejecting the added security requirement as too intrusive.
Officials with the state motor vehicles department said that if the state doesn't comply with the federal Real ID law, residents would need passports to fly starting in October.
"Whether we like it or not, we're stuck with it," said Sen. Robert Adley, R-Benton, committee chairman. "It's better to deal with it like this."
Adley and other committee members said modifying driver's license requirements would be easier and less costly to residents, with passports potentially costing $75 or more. State driver's licenses cost around $25.
Under the proposal, federally compliant driver's licenses would be stamped with a Department of Homeland Security gold star emblem and would require that residents present additional documentation, such as a birth certificate or a Social Security card, to state motor vehicle officials when applying for a license or a renewal.