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Do you have questions about Real ID? We have answers.



In the fall of 2020, all US air travelers will need to present a Real ID-compliant license, or other acceptable form of identity, such as an American passport, to board an internal flight .

The change, the last phase of implementation of the federal law known as the Real ID Act, will come into effect on October 1, 2020. The law has changed the way states issue driver's licenses and credit cards. 39 identity, forcing residents to submit more documents than before. prove their identity and legal residence – and make the rules consistent across the country.

States and residents are struggling with the new document requirements, which include obtaining a birth certificate, a social security card and multiple proofs of residency.

McLaurine Klingler, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said most states had made progress in meeting the federal deadline. If your license or identity card has a star in the upper right corner, it complies with the Real ID Act.

"The majority of states have already been determined by DHS to be fully compliant, and all other states have committed to do so by October 2020," Klingler said in a statement. This means that the compliant states have submitted, and the DHS has approved, documents certifying that they meet the Real ID requirements.


An example of a Maryland driver's license. The star in the upper right corner indicates that there is a Real ID license. (Maryland Department of Transportation)

The federal government ruled Maryland, Virginia and District compliant. But just because your state compliant, it does not mean that your license is. We will repeat: A The Real ID license must include the star in the upper right corner to comply with the law.

To simplify things, we've compiled answers to some common questions about the Real ID requirement.

What is the real identifier?

A federal law promulgated after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 has strengthened national standards for driving licenses and identity cards, reviewing the way in which they are issued and produced to combat falsification and fraud. The program resulted from the Commission's recommendations on 9/11; Eighteen of the hijackers of September 19, 2011 obtained official identifiers, some fraudulently. Nearly half of the hijackers got their driver's license in Virginia.

How is it implemented?

The law came into force for the first time in 2008, but delays have been extended to give states more time to comply.

About half of the states opposed this program after it was approved and at least 13 legislatures passed laws banning their states from complying with it. But appeals to DHS and Congress for changes to the law and its implementation have been unsuccessful. All states are now compliant or have been granted extensions to comply.

Extensions were granted to five states and one territory – Oregon, Oklahoma, Kentucky, New Jersey, Maine and American Samoa – with varying deadlines to meet the federal mandate. Some have until October 10, 2019 to comply.

DHS has been implemented gradually. Anyone accessing nuclear sites, military bases and federal facilities must present a real identity card since 2014.

The last phase, which concerns air travel, will come into force next year. If your driver's license or your identity card comes from a compliant state, the Transportation Security Administration will accept it at airports until September 30, 2020. But as of October 1, 2020 , the licenses and identifiers of these states will have to bear shows that it meets the new safety standards.

What is the status of the District, Maryland and Virginia?

the District The Motor Vehicle Department started issuing Real IDs in 2014. The D.C. licensees started the Real ID conversion process during their renewal period. A DMV spokeswoman declined to provide further details about the city's Real ID program.

Virginia last fall to issue a new driver's license to bring the state into compliance. Until now, the Commonwealth has issued more than 390,000 Real ID IDs, as it aims to replace up to 2.7 million licenses by October 2020. Virginia officials claim that anyone whose license expires after October 2020 and wishes to get the Real ID can go to any DMV, when it suits you. If the time has not come to renew it (you can renew it for up to a year before the expiration of your credentials), you can apply for a replacement driver's license or an ID card and get your Real ID at this moment.

In Maryland, more than 1.8 million people already have a Real ID license or ID card, out of a total of nearly 5 million with state proof. However, about 1 million drivers with real identities are not yet in compliance, as the state does not have copies of the documents used to verify their identity and place of residence. These residents must return to a DMV office and have the appropriate documents scanned to keep them on file, in accordance with an amendment to the EDS rules – which the EDS has refused to explain.

The state has set deadlines for cardholders to file documents and threatens to recall licenses from those who do not respond. A group of about 40,000 licensees have until July 3 to comply with it. After this date, the license or identity card may be subject to a recall and could be confiscated by law enforcement, said Kellie Boulware, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Do I have to have a real identifier?

Residents wishing to use a driver's license to board a commercial aircraft will be required to obtain the new card by October 2020, by which time this card will become the only piece of ID accepted by the TSA.

If you do not need a license to board a flight, either because you have not traveled or are using a US passport, you do not need a card. real identity.

In Maryland, anyone with a driver's license or a regular ID card will eventually pass Real ID credentials, officials said.

Virginia does not require all state license holders to obtain the new Real ID, but anticipates that many residents will request it. Virginia predicts that 40% of Virginia drivers, or about 2.7 million people, will want a real identity.

If you get a real ID, your standard license will still be valid for the same purpose: to drive, vote and as a piece of ID to cash a check or other daily activity.

If I do not have a real identifier for October 2020, are there any other documents I can use to pass a TSA checkpoint?

Other acceptable forms of identity include a US passport, passport card, military ID card, permanent resident card and other options such as the Global Entry Traveler Card. Visit the TSA website for a complete list.

What documents are needed to obtain the Real ID?

You will be asked to provide two proofs of residence (utility bills, bank statements, etc.); proof of identity and legal residence in the United States (birth certificate, US passport or permanent resident card); and a social security card (not just the number). A W-2 form indicating your social security number is an acceptable alternative to a social security card.

Residents who have changed their name to what is on their birth certificate must provide documentation of the change (for example, a marriage certificate or court order granting the name change).

The process will require a face-to-face visit to a DMV or MVA office, even for those who have been licensed for decades.

How much does it cost?

In Virginia, the Real ID card has a one-time fee of $ 10, in addition to the cost of a regular driver's license.

In Maryland, if you have a driver's license or an old-style ID card and want to obtain the Real ID card before renewal, you will be charged a $ 20 fee. There is no additional charge when renewing your driver's license to get a Real ID, but only the standard renewal cost.

In the district, the usual driver's license fees apply, according to the city's DMV website.

When should I get a real ID?

Ideally, you should apply for the Real ID card when you need to renew your driver's license or ID card. However, if you want a real identity and your identification information expires after October 2020, the managers ask you to gather all the required documents as soon as possible and not to wait for them. Next autumn to get the new identifier. In Maryland, you can make an appointment to get the Real ID. In Virginia, you can enter one of the branches of the DMV.

"A very important part of the process is to submit to DMV the appropriate documents that are needed to get your REAL ID," Virginia DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker said in an email.

Anyone enjoying the Real ID this year and next year should expect longer than usual expectations in DMV or MVA offices. State representatives have added employees to customer service offices, but the demand could be more important, as many people who are used to renewing their licenses by mail or online will have to report to the office to get the job done. Real ID.

Do you have more questions?

In Maryland, call the MVA at 410-768-7000 for more information. The MVA website has a search tool at the address realid.mva.maryland.gov that users can use to check if their file contains missing documents. It also provides a checklist of necessary documents and makes it easy to make appointments at MVA.

Virginians can visit the DMV website, dmvnow.com/realid, to view a document.

Visit dmv.dc.gov and look for Real ID for more details on obtaining identification information in the district.


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