October 10 was the deadline for five states to comply with the REAL ID Act of 2005, which implements federal standards for tamper-proof identification documents, such as driver’s licenses. According to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), effective January 30, 2017, “nuclear power plants may not accept for official purposes driver’s licenses and state IDs from a noncompliant state/territory without an extension.” Kentucky, Maine, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina will soon come under REAL ID Act enforcement. These states join Minnesota, Missouri, and Washington State on DHS’s “noncompliant” list. Accordingly, people will have to use another form of “official” identification when visiting a nuclear plant in these states and attempting to gain access.
Other forms of official ID, such as a passport, are not affected. Although this may be a temporary restriction for the above states (they are working on modifying their processes/documents to satisfy the REAL ID Act), any changes will take time, and companies should ensure that plant processes and procedures are consistent with these prohibitions. Please contact author Tom Poindexter if you have any questions.