Ever since the tragedy of 9/11, the federal government has been working on a more extensive ID for U.S. citizens. Now, just 15 years after Congress passed the Real ID Act to curb terrorism, finally, it is being implemented. I am talking about the new federal requirement for a thing called Real ID. Ohio is calling it Compliant ID, meaning we comply with the federal requirements.
At this time only 26 states are compliant and the rest must fall in line quickly. Some actually filed objections on grounds of privacy and federal overreach. I think they lost that appeal.
If you are never going to fly anywhere or need to enter a federal or military building, then you don’t have to be concerned with it. The average person, however, will get on a plane at least every year or two and will need to have this Compliant ID, which will replace your driver’s license.
I wanted to pass on as much of the crazy information about this to you as I could, so I started with the local registrar in Union County. I was told quickly by the woman in charge that she was not allowed to speak to the media. She could not answer any questions from me on an official basis and gave me a phone number to call. I’m pretty sure if I had come in to sign up for this special ID, this person would’ve told me what I needed to do to get it. Hmmm.
Because I wanted to make sure I had all the correct information, I called the number. I would be number 48 on the waiting list to speak to someone. I was on my cell phone. Are you kidding me? I can’t sit there for an hour waiting to talk to someone. How do they expect people to do this?
I called the registrar back and asked for help. Didn’t they have another number that could get me in? It seems they did. They supplied me with a number that led me to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles of Ohio spokesperson. Her name is Lindsey Bohrer and she was helpful.
Now hold it, before you get too excited about all this, we don’t have to show this ID to fly or enter buildings until Oct. 1, 2020. I do, however, imagine there will be a big rush in the last few months to obtain it.
Here are all the tips I could pick up on this for now, from Lindsey: There are five things you need to prove with specific documents to get this new driver’s license/Compliant ID, which will allow you to get on the airplane. They are, full legal name, date of birth, legal presence in the U.S., Social Security number, Ohio street address and proof of name change for those who have done that.
Egad, seems like a lot of stuff, but I have some suggestions for those things that will satisfy this. You need your Social Security card, (a passport will work) and your birth certificate. You will also need two documents that prove where you live. For that, if your address is the same on your present driver’s license, you can use it and then a bank statement that comes to your house or other statement of some sort like a utility bill.
Now we come to the proof of name change. This is usually for women if you are married or if you have divorced, you need a document of proof, which would mean your marriage certificate or a divorce decree. If you have lost it (that stuff happens), you have to go back to the court where that took place and get a copy. Oh my gosh, I’m exhausted just telling you all this.
The state of Ohio has, however, come to our rescue with their website BMV.Ohio.gov. Click on Ohio’s new DL-ID, then on acceptable documents. I recommend you go there because you will see a chart showing all the documents that will be accepted for each requirement. For some there are many choices. For example, for your home address you can use your concealed carry permit. I don’t have one of those, but maybe you do.
Now we come to the next interesting part. If your license isn’t due for renewal until after 2020 and you want to fly or enter a federal building on or after Oct. 1, 2020, you will need to get what they call a duplicate license. For instance, my license will not be expire again until 2021, so in 2020 I have to go in with all my documents and pay $24.50 for a duplicate license, which will allow me to get on a plane in October of that year. At that time, Lindsey told me there is no eye test, but a new picture is required. Too bad if you liked your old picture! Are there some of those people?
Now get this – this is, however, not really a new replacement for the license. It will only be good for another year when I can go back at my regular time in 2021, have the eye test, another picture and pay for my new license – full price – for the renewal for the next four years. Hmmm.
This extra expense and document gathering requirement is all done in an effort to protect us. I understand that and I see that we are going to make sure all travelers are really the people they say they are. Hopefully it will keep us safe and all of this will be worthwhile. But, for right now it’s a pain in the neck.
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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