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House Panel Advances REAL ID Legislation

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Louisiana is one of several states in the U.S. scrambling to come into compliance with federal ID laws.

Louisiana driver's licenses could move in line with a federal identification law, under a proposal that won the backing of the House Transportation Committee.

The bill is designed to keep state residents from running into domestic flying difficulties by 2016, if licenses aren't deemed compliant with the REAL ID law.

Lawmakers enacted a prohibition against compliance with the federal law in 2008, because of concerns about privacy.

Rep. Karen St. Germain, chair of the House Transportation Committee, wants to let people choose whether they want a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or a noncompliant license.

The committee supported St. Germain's bill without objection Tuesday, sending it to the full House for debate.

Opponents say the bill doesn't really offer a choice, but would treat those who opt out as "second-class citizens."

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