You may have seen signs at the airport warning that you will need a new Real ID to fly, starting in October 2020. If you need to update your ID but haven’t been able to yet, you now have a little more time. Around 79 million people have not applied for a compliant ID yet. This number, combined with the coronavirus pandemic, made the previous deadline impractical.
Government office closures and stay-at-home orders have made it impossible for many people to get their new IDs in time. So, the Department of Homeland Security pushed the deadline forward a full year. Now you have until Oct. 1, 2021, to get your new ID. However, it’s important to make sure you have all the documents you will need to get your Real ID when the DMV offices reopen. Even after states reopen, long lines and backlogs will result in lengthy waits. So, you’ll want to apply as soon as possible.
Why was the Real ID deadline changed?
Even if your current driver’s license is still valid, you cannot apply for a Real ID online. You must go to the DMV in person. However, due to COVID-19, California, Texas, Virginia, and Florida have all temporarily closed their DMV offices. Washington State is only allowing in-person visits for tasks that cannot be completed online, through the mail, or over the phone. Some states are beginning to partially reopen. However, social distancing and other safety measures are still recommended.
During these uncertain times, a trip to the DMV to update their driver’s license is low on many people’s priority list. Especially those who are more at risk of contracting the virus. Since travel is currently restricted, most people have no need for a complaint ID right now anyway. Depending on the length of the pandemic, the deadline may be extended even further in the future.
What is the Real ID Act?
Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005, and it was supposed to go into effect in 2008. However, the deadline has been pushed multiple times over the last several years, to give states more time to comply. If you’re confused about what the Real ID Act even entails, you’re not alone. You can read more detailed information about the new IDs here (https://www.vitalrecordsonline.com/blog/you-will-need-a-real-id-to-fly-inside-the-u-s-in-2020/) In short, the Real ID Act creates stricter security standards for driver’s licenses and other state-issued ID cards. Previously, each state had its own rules and requirements for issuing IDs and driver’s licenses. Now, there will be federal standards that all states have to follow. These standards are a minimum, so some states may have additional regulations, as well.
Not everyone needs a new compliant ID. Children under 18 will not need a Real ID. Adults will need one to fly and to access secure locations, such as military bases. However, TSA will still accept U.S. passports for domestic air travel, if you do not have an upgraded ID. So, if you have a valid passport and don’t mind bringing it to travel around the U.S., then you don’t have to upgrade your driver’s license if you don’t want to.
What do I need to get a Real ID?
If you do need to update your ID, you will have to make a trip to your local DMV office. You will need to bring identification that contains your Social Security number, your full legal name, and your date of birth. For example, you can use a
- Valid U.S. passport
- Social Security card
- U.S. birth certificate
In addition, you must provide two different documents showing the address of your primary residence. Also, you will need to show proof that you are a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
What if I don’t have the right documents?
If you don’t have the right forms of ID to get your new driver’s license or identification card, we can help. We’ve created a streamlined, 3-step process to help you get a copy of your birth certificate without leaving your house. You could spend time researching which application to fill out and what forms of identification you’ll need. Then you could go stand in line for hours at your local Health Department office. Or, you could fill out a short questionnaire, drop a package in your mailbox, then sit back and wait for your birth certificate to come to you.
We double and triple check your application to make sure that it will be accepted the first time. Then, we provide you with a completed application and clear directions on how to submit it. We even give you a trackable, pre-paid envelope to send in your application and identification. In addition, we make sure that your application is processed as fast as possible. Our custom database contains information on over 3,000 different state and county application processes. You may not be able to get your Real ID yet, but you can start your birth certificate application now (https://www.vitalrecordsonline.com/) and have everything you need when the DMV reopens.