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American Samoa Real ID Act signed into law

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga on Oct. 8 signed into law, an Administration bill approved by the Fono, that amends local law by creating the American Samoa REAL ID Act, which complies with the federal REAL ID Act, that has been place for more than a decade.

The US Department of Homeland Security has already granted an extension to American Samoa to comply with the federal law by Oct. 10, 2019.

“Currently, American Samoa is working to come into compliance with the federal REAL ID requirements,” Lolo wrote to Fono leaders about signing the bill into law. “With this new law in place, the Department of Public Safety can work to ensure our timely compliance with federal law.”

The new law provides major changes to current statute for issuing driver’s licenses, and a new provision that would allow a “driving privilege card” to be issued. It also transfers issuance of American Samoa identification cards from the Office of Vital Statistics to DPS office of motor vehicle, through the Police Commissioner.

Under the new law, it will be $40 for the driver’s license (which is currently $12, and valid for three years), driving privilege cards; limited term licenses and ID cards. The fee is the same for renewals. The new law has the driver’s license and driving privilege valid for 5 years.

It also states that all driver’s licenses issued prior to implementing this Act, which is effective Jan. 1, 2019, would remain valid until the expiration date on the license or until one-year after the implementation of this Act.