Real ID coming Jan. 15
A few more items will be required to receive or renew a driver’s license shortly after the beginning of the year, and the new license will be required for entry into some federal buildings and for transportation on a commercial airline.
Washington County Treasurer Jeff Garrett said that the new requirements are a result of the Real ID Act that was passed into law in a Homeland Security act passed in 2005. It imposes federal changes to the state’s driver’s license system so the new licenses can be used to verify identity and authorization to be in the country. Garrett said that as of Dec. 1, 2014, everyone 50 years old or younger will need a Real ID compliant license to enter federal buildings, fly on commercial airlines or enter a nuclear power plant. People older will have until Dec. 1, 2017, to comply.
“This Real ID driver’s license isn’t the only thing compliant with that,” Garrett said. “A valid passport, by its nature, is a Real ID-compliant credential, so that can be used.”
Documents required to get a Real ID include an ID that contains the full name and date of birth; documentation of legal status; documentation of Social Security number; and two forms of ID showing current address. For non-drivers, state ID cards will also become Real ID compliant.
Garrett said that anyone with a current license can elect to go through the process or to keep the existing license. All new applicants will have to go through the Real ID process.
With the exception of needing additional documentation, Garrett said that the process to get a Real ID will be the same as getting a driver’s license. He said the issuance will be the same. He said people getting the Real ID license would have to pay $1 and provide the documentation. At renewal of the driver’s license, the holder can opt to get a Real ID license at no extra cost.
Garrett said women who have been married will need to furnish documents that track their names from their maiden name to their married name.
The Department of Homeland Security has stated that Real ID does not constitute a national ID card, while many groups say there is little distinction from a national ID card. There has been controversy to the passage of the act. Critics claim the act violates the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which gives powers not specifically outlined to be under federal control to the states. It is also criticized as an unfunded mandate. Twenty-four states have passed resolutions refusing to implement the act. Similar resolutions are pending in 15 other states and District of Columbia. Pres. Barrack Obama has voiced opposition to the Real ID act.