Montana Receives One-Year Extension for REAL ID Compliance from Department of Homeland Security

us seal

Montana Receives One-Year Extension for REAL ID Compliance from Department of Homeland Security

The Montana Department of Justice’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) received an extension from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Wednesday, for the implementation of the federal identification law, REAL ID. The extension expires October 10, 2018. During this time, Montana drivers’ licenses are accepted by the Transportation Security Administration to board domestic, commercial flights and access federal facilities.

MVD Administrator Sarah Garcia said, “This extension gives MVD time to develop business processes, hire new staff, and acquire the necessary equipment needed to implement REAL ID. With this extension, MVD is on track to comply with REAL ID requirements, and also gives Montana citizens time to prepare for issuance of REAL ID credentials.”

Montana’s Congressional Delegations offered statements on DHS’s decision.

Senator Jon Tester, Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee: “I will continue to hold the Department of Homeland Security accountable to their promise to work with Montana to find a common-sense solution that doesn’t inhibit Montana families’ travel plans and protects our civil liberties.”

Senator Steve Daines: “By securing an additional extension, we are easing the burden placed on Montana families that want to get on an airplane and giving the state the necessary time to enact the new state law that complies with REAL ID.”

Congressman Greg Gianforte: “The federal government has granted the state more time to comply with REAL ID requirements. I am relieved that hard-working Montanans can travel with their current state-issued identification as they prepare for the busy holiday period.”

Through Senate Bill 366 (Cohenour), the 2017 Montana Legislature authorized MVD to comply with the federal REAL ID law and to begin issuing compliant credentials starting January 2019. MVD will request another one-year extension in 2018, and will continue to work with DHS to ensure full compliance with the law.

MVD has partnered with Montana State University Billings to develop a public information campaign to relay information to the public regarding REAL ID compliance. MVD will utilize MSU-B student work through marketing and research classes to develop the public information campaign. MSU-B has agreed to develop the campaign free-of-charge, with the state only shouldering costs for student materials, research, advertisement printing and on-air ad placement.

For further information, call (406) 444-3933 or visit MVD’s FAQ page at

Skip to content