If the idea of waiting in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles spikes anxiety levels, it might be a good idea to log onto their website and schedule an appointment to acquire a Real ID – real soon.
Those who plan on traveling via commercial airline after Oct. 1, 2020, will have to produce a new style of driver’s license, the Real ID. The new id has an updated security features and appearance.
These changes were set into motion by Congress in 2005, when the Real ID Act was passed, to help thwart terrorism following 9/11.
The intent of this overhaul was in response to recommendations by the 9/11 Commission. Of the 19 hijackers,18 acquired state IDs and some did so fraudulently.
This shift was originally to take place in 2008, but the deadlines kept getting extended due to controversy over the concept. A joint resolution was passed in 2007 by the Illinois general assembly, calling for a repeal of the Real ID Act on the basis that it could be used to track illegal immigration.
President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Director John Kelly, announced in June of 2017 that there would be no further delay. He expressed feelings that the 9/11 Commission was not taking the Real IDs seriously.
Those who decide to take the necessary steps to acquire a Real ID will need to apply at an actual brick and mortar DMV.
The required documents needed when applying for the new ID include: U.S. birth certificate, passport or permanent resident card for identity verification; Social Security card or acceptable evidence of the number; two forms of California residence documents, such as a car registration, mortgage statement, utility bill or rental agreement. These requirements differ from the non-compliant ID by only requiring one form to prove of California residency.
The good news is, that if Californians do not acquire a Real ID by the deadline, boarding an airline is still possible with a passport or other federally accepted ID. However, it is not recommended to put off getting the new ID. Those without one will not be able to access military bases or many other secured federal facilities.
Individuals who would rather not be subjected to the daunting process of attaining the documents needed may still choose to renew their licenses or ID cards online or by mail. Though, in less than a year such IDs will contain a note that reads, “Federal Limits Apply,” in the right-hand corner.
Newly issued state of California Real ID cards will feature a grizzly bear and a star in the upper right-hand corners.
For more information, go to the Real ID webpage.