The state Department of Transportation is getting ready for the rollout of the optional “Real ID” program.
“Real ID” is an enhanced driver’s license. It’s a federal mandate – so you would have to have it to board an airplane or enter a federal building. Without it, you will need to show a passport.
The 2017 Legislature made it “opt in.”
DOT Driver's License Division Director Glenn Jackson said the Department is now working on the technology – and it should be ready by next spring.
"In January, 2018, we will start sending out notifications to individuals for renewal, and notifying them of the availability of 'real ID," Jackson said.
Jackson said someone applying for real ID would have to provide a birth certificate, or a US passport, or something like that to verify that you are who you say you are.
"They'll have to provide a Social Security card, and two pieces of information to verify your address," Jackson said.
Those documents will be scanned, and you will get the originals back. Once those documents are validated, the “Real ID" will be issued.
"On the upper right hand corner of a real ID-compliant credential will be a gold star," Jackson said. "And for a document that is not real ID compliant, it will have the words 'Not for Federal Identification."
Jackson said after October of 2020, Real ID or a passport will be required to board an airplane. He said for those whose driver’s licenses are not up for renewal before that time, they too will have to go to a driver’s license office if they want a Real ID.
"We're going to have an extensive scheduling process," Jackson said. "We'll have lots of availability for people to do this on line and schedule visits, so they can come in, get right into the queue, just to get a duplicate that is real ID compliant, and they can leave."
Jackson said it will not change the expiration date on the driver's license itself.
Starting this fall, DOT plans an extensive informational campaign – to bring everyone up to date on the rollout of “Real ID.”