A fictitious man named Nick Sample appears on a sample of an Oklahoma REAL ID driver's license. (Provided)

To the editors:

I want to thank the 2007 Oklahoma Legislature for making the decision to not follow the federal guidelines on our Oklahoma IDs. The law that bipartisan group of lawmakers passed delayed our Real ID implementation, which means few Oklahomans have the new ID and will be unable to fly in the U.S. without a passport after Oct. 1. I am not sure why this decision was made back then, but I hope the 2007 legislators who made it are still patting themselves on the back.

Well, the free passes are up for Oklahoma, and now we must have a Real ID that conforms to the federal guidelines. I applaud all the Legislatures since passing that law for kicking the can down the road for more than a decade before trying to figure out how to fix the problem.

I just love trying to make an appointment at any tag agency, as well as bringing additional paperwork to get my driver license renewed. My first appointment was canceled because the system was down. Again, thank you for not fixing this problem, my life is so much better. I have a colleague whose son is turning 16, and their family has been unable to make an appointment to get his first driver license, so kudos to you politicians and bureaucrats for delaying this teenager’s ability to drive. His mother tells me he might be 18 before they are able to make an appointment. Was your goal to keep roads so much safer by keeping this kid and others from getting behind the wheel?

Back to me, I found a tag agency that allows walk-ins beginning at 8:30 a.m. I got there at 8 a.m. and was the 21st person in line. The manager came out and said they will only help the first 10 of us. I returned the next day at 7:15 a.m. and was the 15th person in line, so I went home. You all should be so proud of the efficient system you have put in place. I just love wasting my time, as I am sure do other Oklahomans who are too late to get in these lines at tag agencies and Department of Public Safety offices.

While Gov. Kevin Stitt’s recent executive orders (and subsequent legislation advanced by the 2021 Oklahoma Legislature) have aimed to reduce lines and increase access to Real IDs and driver licenses, Oklahomans are not yet seeing enough relief to the backlog. We deserve better.

Frank W. Merrick
Oklahoma City

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