Upward Transitions is appreciative to the bipartisan group of Oklahoma State Representatives, led by Rep. Ross Ford, who sent a letter to Governor Kevin Stitt expressing their support for an executive order to address challenges and lengthy wait times many Oklahomans are currently facing when trying to receive and renew driver’s licenses or update existing licenses to REAL IDs.
Governor Stitt later signed Executive Order 2021-05 directing the Department of Public Safety to expedite renewals or replacements of valid driver licenses and identification. Specifically, the executive order will waive restrictions on tag agents to make it easier to obtain a driver’s license renewal, allow Oklahomans to obtain identification if a REAL ID is not available, allow Oklahomans to obtain a downgraded license, if necessary, and allow third parties to administer driver’s license examinations.
Many individuals experiencing homelessness in our community do not have valid identification, and without valid identification, they are unable to obtain employment, secure housing, or access much-needed services. To help remove these barriers, Upward Transitions provides pre-paid vouchers to help those experiencing homelessness to obtain Oklahoma State IDs. Due to current wait times for appointments at the Department of Public Safety and local tag agencies, many clients are waiting as long as eight weeks to obtain their IDs.
“Allowing tag agents to issue an identification card if the person requesting the identification card has an existing state driver’s license file, even if the driver’s license is expired or suspended, as recommended by the letter, helps many of our clients obtain their IDs more quickly,” stated Upward Transitions CEO, Periann Pulliam. “Although this order would not resolve the long waiting period for most clients we serve, it is a step in the right direction.”
Upward Transitions serves families and individuals who are homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or stranded by providing case management and stabilizing resources to help meet basic social needs. Our goal is to assist families and individuals during times of financial devastation, so they remain – or can return to being – productive contributors to their community.