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REAL ID Act, effective changes Jan. 30

Airman 1st Class Dylan Kerns, 341st Security Forces Squadron member, checks identification cards for incoming visitors through the 10th Avenue North Access Gate at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., Nov. 1, 2016.  The gate will serve as the permanent 24-hour main access gate starting on Nov. 5. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

Airman 1st Class Dylan Kerns, 341st Security Forces Squadron defender, checks identification cards for oncoming visitors gaining access to the base Nov. 1, 2016, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Beginning Jan. 30, 2017, individuals seeking entry to Malmstrom will need to provide a form of compliant identification to be granted access to the base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Heavner)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- In late November, Montana was denied an extension to the REAL ID Act implementation which means beginning Jan. 30, 2017, individuals seeking entry to Malmstrom will need to provide a form of compliant identification to be granted access to the base.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 by the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government set standards for the issuance of sources of identification.

The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and ID cards that do not meet these standards.

Since the act was established, Montana has opted to not comply and the federal government has granted extensions to their non-compliance. The extensions allowed Montana ID cards to be accepted as proof of identification and allowed individuals access to the installation.

However, beginning Jan. 30, all individuals will need to have a form of compliant identification such as an approved state ID or passport.

“We have been working hand-in-hand with (agencies across the base) to work with the contractors who come to work on Malmstrom to minimize impacts to base services, local partnerships and businesses,” said Maj. Marc Ortiz, 341st Security Forces Squadron commander.

In the past, security forces Airmen have issued Defense Biometric Identification System cards which granted contractors unescorted access to the base. DBIDS cards issued with a non-compliant ID before the implementation of the REAL ID Act will be accepted until their expiration. After Jan. 30, DBIDS cards will only be issued to compliant ID card holders.

“Day-to-day pieces will be different for individuals looking to sponsor guests onto the base as well,” Ortiz said.

Currently, Airmen are able to sponsor guests onto base, granting them unescorted access to the installation. After the implementation in January, individuals looking for sponsorship will need to possess a compliant form of identification.

Sponsoring and escorting are two different scenarios and Airmen will need to understand which they are requesting.

“If you wish to escort them, which means you are escorting your visitor’s physical presence, they do not have to have a REAL ID Act compliant identification card,” Ortiz said.

However, for security purposes, guests being escorted onto the installation will need a compliant form of identification between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5:59 a.m.

These changes also apply to visitors wanting to visit the base museum.

Visit www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs for more information on the REAL ID Act and compliant forms of identification.
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