Rock Island Arsenal last week began recognizing the Illinois driver’s license as a valid form of identification for visitors, relieving state residents of the need to bring additional identification to gain access to the installation located on the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois.
Illinois — along with Minnesota, Missouri and Washington — previously did not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act, which established minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards such as a photograph and biographic information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address. The law was enacted following a recommendation by the 9/11 commission.
In January, the Pentagon directed military installations to stop accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that did not comply with the REAL ID Act.
After Illinois lawmakers recently authorized changes to make driver’s licenses more compliant with the law, though, DOD reversed its decision requiring visitors from the state to provide a second form of identification.
The reversal is good news for Illinois residents of the Quad Cities and tourists trying to visit the arsenal.
“Every time a visitor is turned away from eagle-watching on the island, or visiting our national and confederate cemeteries, or checking out the wonderful museum, the clock tower or the Col. Davenport sites, it leaves an unfair impression of a community working hard to polish its reputation as a welcoming place to live, work, and visit,” according to an editorial in QCOnline.com.
Recognition of the Illinois driver’s license as compliant with the REAL ID Act only lasts through Oct. 10, when the Department of Homeland Security will decide whether to continue accepting it.