Driver License

The Montana Department of Justice announced Wednesday that its Motor Vehicle Division is busy rolling out Montana’s newly designed driver licenses and identification cards.

Montana Department of Justice

HELENA — A bill to make Montana compliant with federal driver's license rules would cost the state more than $2 million a year for the next four years.

But if it doesn't pass, Montana residents won't be able to use their state-issued licenses to board airplanes starting in January.

State lawmakers have resisted complying with the 2005 federal REAL ID Act over concerns of privacy. The Legislature passed a law in 2007 forbidding the state from issuing the enhanced identification cards.

The proposal by Democratic Sen. Jill Cohenour of East Helena would give Montanans the option of choosing a license that meets the federal requirements.

Cohenour told the Senate State Administration Committee on Monday it would cost the state $2.6 million to implement in the first year, and go down after that.

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