f you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve probably seen a story or two talking about Real ID’s. There has been quite a commotion as Californians all begin prepping for the switch from their old California ID’s to these new ones, but why? What is so special and important about these new ID cards?
What Are Real ID’s?
The need for Real ID’s arose from the Real ID Act passed by Congress in 2005, which was recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The idea was to set a federally accepted standard for how identification cards were issued by state governments. Under this act, certain requirements have to be met while applying for an ID card. If these requirements aren’t met with that ID, then it will not be given the same access as a Real ID.
Starting on October 1st, 2020 everyone, over the age of 18, will need to present a Real ID compliant license or ID in order to access federal facilities and to board domestic flights. This is why these ID’s are such a big deal for a lot of people. Without a Real ID, people will not be able to fly in the US.
Minors are exempt from the need to use a Real ID since the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not require people under the age of 18 to provide identification.
Applying for a Real ID
Not everyone will need a Real ID. To find out if a person will need a Real ID, they can take a quiz on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)’s website here.
Since a Real ID is a new form of identification, a person looking to get one will need to bring a lot of documentation with them. Some of the important documents that a person will need to bring with them to the DMV for a Real ID include:
- An identification document that lists a person’s date of birth and full name. Some examples of this include US Passports and birth certificates.
- A name change documentation if the name has been changed, such as a woman’s name being changed after getting married.
- One document showing a person’s social security number. This can be a person’s social security card or their W-2 form.
- Two different documents proving the person’s residency in the state of California. These must include the person’s full mailing address and first and last name.
If a person already had a Real ID, but only showed one proof of residency to get the ID, they will need to provide a second proof of residency in order for the ID to remain effective.
If You Want to Travel, You’ll Need a Real ID
Any Californian planning to visit secure federal locations, or wanting to fly across the US after October 1st, 2020 will need to have a federally approved Real ID. The whole point of this new type of ID is to make sure that every state is on the same page and getting the same information when issuing an ID to a person. The hope is that these new ID’s will help prevent people from forging them.
While getting this new form of identification may be a bit of a hassle and time consuming, once a person has it, they do not have to worry. Renewing a Real ID will be as simple as renewing their old driver’s license.