PR Will Comply With Real ID Act By February
By Caribbean Business on December 30, 2015
SAN JUAN – Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) Secretary Miguel Torres said Wednesday the agency will be able to comply with all dispositions of the Real ID Act regarding controls for the issuance of drivers’ licenses within the first couple of months of 2016.
“I don’t anticipate any changes because it has been confirmed to us, and I’m certain, that for the next 120 days nothing is going to change, unless they issue a new determination saying they are not going to accept it [the license], which they have not. I understand that between January and February the technological aspects should be completed, so we would be able to begin issuing the new Real ID licenses by April or May,” said Torres during a radio interview Wednesday.
The Secretary confirmed the IDs will include the golden star that certifies they comply with the federal law and that the government of Puerto Rico is meeting the deadlines set for implementation of the Real ID Act. Torres also said he has been in direct communication with Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) officials.
On Tuesday, would-be travelers expressed their uneasiness after the media reported TSA would not be accepting Puerto Rico’s driver license as a valid ID for people travelling outside the island from January 10th, 2016 on. Later DHS officials informed it is currently evaluating an application for an extension from the government of Puerto Rico. Therefore, Puerto Ricans could continue using their licenses as valid IDs when traveling abroad.
Torres said the implementation of the new ID system was stopped because of difficulties with the technological infrastructure of the DTPW, so they opted to continue issuing the licenses as they had been doing convinced there was no risk of them being rejected by federal government officials.