Alaska estimates $1.5M cost to comply with federal ID law

JUNEAU — A state agency estimates it will cost at least $1.5 million for the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles to become compliant with national proof-of-identity standards.

A state law passed in 2008 barred state agencies from spending money to help implement the federal Real ID law. The state has gotten extensions to comply. The latest was granted last fall, when Gov. Bill Walker said he planned to propose repealing the state prohibition and setting up a system that would allow Alaskans to choose between an identification card that is compliant with the federal law and one that is not. He introduced that bill this week.

The extension expires June 6. If it remains uncompliant, the state risks Alaska-issued driver’s licenses and state ID cards not being accepted at military bases and other federal buildings or for air travel.

Sen. Bill Wielechowski sponsored the 2008 law, seeing Real ID as an example of federal overreach. He says he looks forward to testimony on Walker’s bill.