Licenses no longer accepted as ID at federal buildings by April - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Licenses no longer accepted as ID at federal buildings by April

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BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Starting soon, showing your Massachusetts license won't take you very far when it comes to getting on a plane or even into federal buildings.

Massachusetts is one of 11 states that since 2008, hasn't complied with a federal act called Real ID.

Starting in April people living in this state will be kept from using licenses to gain access to some federal buildings, because Massachusetts issues drivers licenses to residents without verifying citizenship.

"Let's remember why we have this program. It was the result of the report that was done by the Special Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11, and what they indicated and what they had found was that 18 of the 19 terrorists involved in those attacks had 30 forms of state issued driver's licenses and identification," Senator Bruce Tarr said.

The Real ID act was put into effect after the 9/11 hijackings to close a loophole exploited by the hijackers, easy access to driver's licenses they weren't entitled to.

Tarr wrote the Patrick administration a letter in March of 2013 concerned that the state had not yet complied.

"Essentially what the law says is that the Federal Agencies don't have to recognize the identification produced by states that don't comply with Real ID," Tarr said.

The Patrick administration would not tell FOX 25 if it plans to join the program, and why or why not.

Instead, they sent a statement from Registrar of Motor Vehicles Celia Blue saying they're working with Homeland Security to try to find a solution.

FOX 25 Reporter Sharman Sacchetti caught up with Senator Elizabeth Warren at an appearance in Lynn, to ask her about it. She wouldn't say whether or Massachusetts should comply with the Federal law, and instead began talking about a completely separate topic altogether.

"Well, it's my understanding that Massachusetts is trying to find a way to work with the federal system that also works for us here at home. But this is a reminder why overall we need comprehensive immigration reform," she said.

Congressman John Tierney told FOX 25 that he believes it's a matter of money.

"So everybody was saying look you have to do something for security but if you're going to make an imposition on the state, you gotta pay for it because it's a huge expense for a lot of states to go through this that's why the date has been kicked back and kicked back, because they haven't really had the resources," he said.

Yet somehow, most states have found a way to comply. Tarr said he believes not getting on board leaves us vulnerable.

"I believe it does. But I don't believe it only leaves us vulnerable. Again one of the things we saw on 9/11 is that folks that boarded planes at Logan did harm to folks in New York City. So that's why the national standard was created so that we couldn't' have those breeches in one state that affects folks in the rest of the country," Tarr said.

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