Next October’s Real ID Rollout Will Be a Nightmare

Government Regulation

As you pass through security on your holiday travels, glance over at the little signs telling you to get a Real ID. They’ve been there for awhile, but you’ve probably ignored them for years. Now, you have to pay attention. After many delays, on October 1, 2020, you will only be able to use your driver license as proof of identification if you have this so-called Real ID. This is supposed to make things more secure, but at least in the beginning, it’s going to be a complete mess.

Who Needs to Pay Attention

Let’s start with who shouldn’t care about this. First, if you’re under 18, you need no ID. Beyond that, if you travel using your passport, trusted traveler card, or any other form of photo identification issued by the federal government, then you are good to go. Further, if you have an “Enhanced Driver License” from your state, that’s ok too. But for those who travel using their driver license, this is a really big deal.

Why You Wouldn’t Get a Real ID

Congress decided back in 2005 that the states were too lax about the standards required to procure a driver license. So, they put together legislation that required stepping up standards for that ID to be used to access areas controlled by the feds. Today most states will offer you the choice of getting a regular driver license or a Real ID. Why would you get the former? There are a couple reasons.

In some places, it’s cheaper. So if you won’t be flying using that ID (or trying to enter restricted federal facilities that require ID), then there’s no reason to pay for the more expensive one. Pennsylvania, for example, charges a one-time $30 fee to get a Real ID issued. California, New York, Illinois, and others, however, charge the same amount whether you get a Real ID or a regular one, and that leads to the second point.

It is not simple to get a Real ID. You need a lot of documentation to get it, and you have to do it in person. Some may just not want to deal with the hassle if they won’t be flying or visiting federal facilities. If you’re an American reading this blog, however, then you’ll want the Real ID.

A Problematic Roll-Out

There have been a ton of problems in this rollout, but most have been smoothed over. Early issues of states issuing IDs that didn’t meet the guidelines seem to have been fixed. (Technically, the feds just changed their minds on what the right process was. So that’s fun.) And New Jersey finally started issuing Real IDs recently, but there are two states that still aren’t ready.

For everyone else, Real IDs are available, and you may even have one. How do you know? If there’s a star of some sort at the top of your license, then you have a Real ID. (In California, the star is embedded in the ass of a bear.) It should look like one of these things:

If you don’t have one, but you want one, prepare for some fun. In many states (*cough* California *cough*), going to the Department of Motor Vehicles is a miserable experience that takes hours. You need to fill out an application and bring in multiple documents to prove your residence.

Getting a Real ID Isn’t Fun

At least in California, first, you need to bring something that proves your date of birth and your name, something like a passport or birth certificate. Second, you need proof of your social security number. That must either be the original card, a W-2, or something similar that proves the number. Then you need two documents proving residence. That could be your deed, a mortgage bill, tax return, utility bills, etc. There are a ton of options for that, but it’s a real pain to gather all this.

Does this all sound terrible? It is, and that’s why I expect this to be such a nightmare. When October 1, 2020 rolls around, do you think everyone who flies is going to have a Real ID or a federally-issued ID? No way. There’s a better chance of the Florida Marlins selling out a game. And this is where things get really tricky.

What Will Happen If You Try to Fly With a Non-Real ID? Good Question.

Today, you can technically still travel with no ID at all as long as you submit to enhanced security screening. But best I can tell, that will not be an option going forward. According to the FAQ:

Q: What happens to travelers who show up without a compliant license? Will TSA turn them away?

A: Travelers who do not present a REAL ID-compliant license or acceptable alternative beginning October 1, 2020 will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.

There is zero chance of everyone showing up with a compliant ID, so are they really going to tell everyone to pound sand and come back with the right ID? That is going to cause severe disruption.

I would hope that the feds would have some sort of grace period, or possibly even a system where people get fined if they don’t have their ID but they can still travel for some time. Otherwise, we’re in for some serious chaos. So far, I haven’t heard anything definitive on this.

The big concern at this point is that it has been pushed off so many times that any discussion about Real ID sounds like the little boy calling wolf. Nobody thinks it’ll ever actually happen. This time, however, it is happening. It’s coming, and it’s not going to be delayed again, so this could end being very ugly.

Get Cranky in Your Inbox!

The airline industry moves fast. Sign up and get every Cranky post in your inbox for free.

62 comments on “Next October’s Real ID Rollout Will Be a Nightmare

  1. California isn’t bad at all as long as you make an appointment in advance. I’ve gone twice in the last year and both times they took me right away. Total time was under 25 minutes.

    1. In New York City, there are no appointments available at most of the DMV offices until March, and the ones that are available are in the middle of the workday.

      I think DMV offices just don’t have the capacity to handle almost everyone in the state coming in in a ~6 month period. Normally those appointments would be spread out over years.

      This is also going to create an “echo” capacity crunch in future years as all of the newly-issued REAL IDs expire at the same time.

      1. In some state, once you have a Real ID complaint license, you won’t need to go through the process at renewal time. We’ve had them in Florida for a while now, and when I renewed my license earlier this year I didn’t have a problem doing it online with no additional paperwork.

        1. From what I understand, California is the same. One only needs proof the first time. I just went through this getting my son his Learner’s Permit. I made sure he was Real ID verified for when he gets his license.

        2. Not sure if you can get the Real ID this way, but when I moved to FL a decade ago getting my driver’s license and car title switched over to FL from my previous state was accomplished with a quick 15-minute trip to the county tax office (paying a few extra bucks to the county to avoid the DMV, but worth it!).

          I’ve done the whole driver’s license + car title switch in more states than I can count on my fingers. In my experience, if you do your homework online (booking an appointment if possible; Michigan has a great system for this) and show up with all the documents you need (again, not hard to look online for the forms and requirements) and with a lot of patience and a good attitude, you will be in the top 10% or 20% of all DMV customers.

          Also, if you are prepared and generally pleasant to the CSR at the DMV, they may overlook minor things; I have had CSRs fail to charge me the late registration penalty fee (when I took far more than the legal maximum of 30 days to switch everything over to the new state) because they didn’t bother to look very hard at the dates on my documents. I’m sure if I had yelled at them and been rude, they would have charged me that penalty fee and probably found a few other ways to ruin my day.

          Finally, not all DMVs are open on Black Friday, but if yours is, getting to the DMV first thing on Black Friday is a great time to get everything done with minimal wait. No one thinks about going to the DMV on Black Friday, especially not in the morning.

      2. I feel your pain Alex — I went day before Thanksgiving an hour before License Express opened since I too couldn’t get an appointment for months. Fortunately, it was quick for me. But NYC just hasn’t had enough time and hasn’t opened enough new capacity (despite whole new DMV location) to handle all of the people and paperwork needed to get REAL IDs. At least the next time around we can renew online, but wow….

  2. My current Wash DC license expires in 2022. DC DMV sent notification to make an appointment to get a new license, scheduled for January.

    I’m pretty surprised and worried. DC DMV is not known for their efficiency.

    1. The minute someone is prevented from flying due to lack of Real ID that person will have standing to sue

      1. Anyone can sue anyone else for anything, however, such a lawsuit would be without merit, since the traveler would be breaking a Federal law if they don’t have a Real ID. And ignorance of the law is not an excuse or a defense.

  3. In Florida, it was easy to get the Real ID drivers licence. These people that don’t have one have had many years to get one already. They have had enough grace periods.

    1. Absolutely. The big problem was getting all the IDs straightened out. One big thing for Married women is to make sure you have an official copy of your marriage license. My wife’s license did not have her maiden name on it and we had to send back to Iowa for our marriage license. That can be time consuming.

      That said, I use my Global entry card when I don’t use Clear!

      1. Yes, but there is another problem. I signed up months ago to renew mine, paid, and nothing else but the news that they are behind and there is a six month grace period if renewal is in process. But what does that mean exactly with an expired ID? I am pretty sure my license is real ID, and I also have a TWIC (and a passport) so I am covered, but not many people will check all those boxes…

  4. Almost no chance this is enforced as-described starting October 1. The federal government isn’t going to start turning away travelers en masse one month before the presidential election. There have been numerous delays up until now, why do we believe there won’t be another one?

    1. 100% agreed. No bureaucrat or elected official is going to be able to stare down the hysterical press coverage – they will extend it. Acting like they won’t extend it is just a tactic to get state DMVs and individuals to take it seriously and make the switch to Real IDs.

      1. Especially with an election six weeks or so after October 1. Impossible to imagine many incumbents in Congress or the White House with this mess being significant in the news through much of October.

    2. Yes, they will be turning people away enmass. That is why this is being talked about so much. So people will know, in advance and get this done. I spoke with TSA as I work for the DMV. They are expecting to turn away at least 5,000 travelers per large airport on Oct 1, 2020. They are already planning for extra security during the roll out and preparing for the kind of chaos that is going to occur.

      1. It’s all a BS act. The decision-makers at the very top know that they’re going to cave and extend it again, but they can’t tell anyone, including the rank-and-file employees who have to make plans to implement it, because it would get out and undercut their push to get everyone to switch to the Real ID. So the TSA employees sincerely believe they’re going to be turning people away, but they SES and political appointees at the very top of the agency know that they won’t be.

  5. Getting a Real ID in Texas was not a problem at all, and was as simple as renewing my Texas driver’s license online. Texas DPS sent a note about early renewal to get the Real ID, and provided a link to complete the process online. No additional paperwork or identification was required, and the fee (around $20) was the same as what was normally charged to renew a driver’s license. And by renewing early and entirely online, they set the expiration date at 7 years.

    1. This may depend on what documents you showed when you got your license initially. I just renewed in October in Texas, and I got a letter saying I needed to appear in person with my passport and social security card and was not eligible to renew online a usual. That said, I made an appointment and was in and out in 20 minutes. Without the appointment, they were quoting a 2-3 hour wait to those walking in.

      1. Agree. We moved from PA and had to provide all the documentation Franky mentioned for CA to get our Texas Drivers Licenses that are Real ID compliant. I would think all stares would require that documentation to comply with the Federal regulations.

  6. A little history, Real ID was something cooked up because the 9/11 hijackers had used state issued drivers licenses to get on the planes. There are other conspiracy theories about it but the official story is security. The fact that it has been delayed this long should cite outrage in my opinion. Not that I’m worried about another 9/11 style hijacking but do we want to fly safely or do we just care about flying conveniently?

    I’d have no issue with people being turned away for not doing their own due diligence on the ID. That would happen to anyone trying to fly international without a passport. Not seeing how this is any different. I have an Enhanced license, which wasn’t too difficult to obtain. Just normal stuff to prove I am who I say I am. I’m sure the argument is that the homeless can’t provide those documents, but are they flying?? Seriously, the people I see on planes can all do this quite easily – it just takes some time. Just get the ID…or use your passport.

    1. It’s been 18 years since 9/11 and there hasn’t been a single publicly reported example of attempted crime on an airliner that would have been prevented with Real ID. The urgency just isn’t there.

      In addition, Real IDs have been easy to get in many states, but have been unavailable until very recently in others. This has caused a huge capacity crunch at the DMVs of states which recently introduced Real IDs. Getting a Real ID can involve using a vacation day and sitting all day in a DMV office, even though you *just* renewed your license 1 or 2 years ago.

      Also, only 42% of Americans have a passport. “Just use your passport” is useless advice to those people.

    2. “A little history, Real ID was something cooked up because the 9/11 hijackers had used state issued drivers licenses to get on the planes.”

      This doesn’t really make sense to me. If they hadn’t been able to get a state issued drivers license, wouldn’t they have been able to use their Saudi passports?

  7. Real ID act is nothing short of a nightmare and it should just go away. I didnt even know about this till Aug 2019 when I renewed my license. The line for real id was so horrible I just decided to go on the short standard not for federal purposes id line. For now I have a passport and next year I will just renew it so I could care less about real id. I saw the requirements and getting a passport is easier than getting a stupid retarded star on my license.

  8. We just mived to Kentucky and got our driver’s licenses about a month ago. No option for real ID yet.

  9. We just mived to Kentucky and got our driver’s licenses about a month ago. No option for real ID yet. We’ll see.

    1. Welcome to the Bluegrass State! Here’s what’s going on as best as I can tell. Matt Bevin, our now-former governor, had several major brain cramps while he was in office. Rollout of Real ID was one of them. He did not cooperate with the Feds about this, and he actually vetoed the funds out of the State’s budget a couple of years ago that would have paid to move Real ID ahead. So, now we have a “pilot program” (punny?) up & running in 6 out of Kentucky’s 120 counties. My wife & I live in Northern Kentucky, in the Greater Cincinnati metro area. CVG is our hometown airport. Only one county in the metro area is participating in the “pilot program” (Owen County). What are my wife & I doing? We’re shelling out the nickles to get passports!

      BTW, here’s the website address for Kentucky’s “pilot program” . . .

      1. Thank you for your response. I went into the hyperlink and you have to go to Frankfort to do it?!?! Wow. Amazing. Hopefully it does not become a problem. At least not a big one.

        1. No, you basically have to wait until your county comes on line. Kentucky requires you to obtain an ID from an office in the county in which you reside.

          The “pilot programs” that @SkyVoice referred to failed and were shut down because the County Clerks tasked with the project basically said, “nah… Real ID’s are too much work. We’re not going to do it.” So now, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is setting up regional Real ID offices which issue Real ID’s only (independent of the County Clerks who are still issuing standard Driver’s Licenses.) The expectation (among those in state government whom I’ve talked to) is that in a few years, the Real ID offices will take over ALL Driver’s License issuances in Kentucky… so effectively the County Clerks just complained themselves out of a job.

  10. You’re blowing this process of getting a Real ID way out of proportion.

    I made an appointment at the DMV in San Francisco. I arrived on time with my passport, W2 form, mortgage statement, utility bill. Very easy to gather those few documents. I presented the information, filled in the forms, was friendly with equally friendly DMV employees, and was finished there in less than an hour. My new driver license with the star on the bear’s ass arrived in the mail in a week. No problem.

    Why get a Real ID since I have a passport? Well, I needed to renew my driver license anyway, so why not? Plus, it’s always possible that one day I’ll lose my passport and still want to fly domestically before I get a new passport.

    1. My experience with the California DMV was the same.

      I had an appointment at the DMV two weeks ago and followed the Real ID checklist on the DMV website before hand. It took me less than an hour at the DMV and my new license showed up in a week.

      Since I was dealing with the DMV, and their reputation of being sticklers for details, I brought every single type of documentation I had so that if they rejected any, I’d have a backup. I had my birth certificate, passport, passport ID, social security card, W-2s, utility bills, insurance bills, bank statements, and more. The first document of each category I presented was accepted without issue and I didn’t need any of my backup documentation.

    2. Where I ran into trouble was my birth certificate. I just got an Idaho license and they tried to tell me my MD birth certificate wasn’t valid. I guess at some point in the last 40+ years, they’ve changed to a more uniform look between the states. Since mine was an older design, they weren’t going to let me use it, and told me I would have to pay for a new birth certificate first. It took me requesting (ok, demanding) to speak to a supervisor before they accepted it.

      1. I have derivative naturalized citizenship since I was a teenager when my parents became US citizens. We had to turn in our beautiful, calligraphed Japanese birth certificates. I have a naturalization certificate that serves in its place. Luckily, California has a lot of naturalized immigrants so the DMV is used to seeing these.

        One thing about the Social Security card- it has to be an unlaminated original. Since my original card from the 1970s was laminated, I had to apply for a new original replacement. That was pretty easy to do.

  11. Let’s be real honest.

    The reason why Real ID compliance is difficult is because some states have refused to comply with federal requirements regarding immigration law. The vast majority of people that might be affected are in states that have long chosen to issue IDs to people whose identity cannot be verified; illegal immigrants have flocked to certain states to get driver’s licenses because of the lack of appropriate checking of who is actually requesting the ID.
    The vast majority of states comply with federal documentation requirements and their citizens have not had difficulty getting Real ID compliant driver’s licenses.
    Even citizens that live in states that have fought Real ID requirements have met the same level of requirements in order to get a US passport.
    Because air transportation is a single, interconnected system for the entire country, there has to be a single system for secure identification.
    Let’s also be clear the Real ID program has existed under multiple administrations of both parties. It is not a partisan effort.
    States that want to provide services and identity to undocumented residents can issue non Real ID compliant IDs.
    The vast majority of states and people who fly even within states that have been slow in issuing Real ID compliant IDs will have no problem complying.

    And, once you have a Real ID, you can renew online or using whatever non-presential processes your state allows.

    That is the real, honest, non-partisan truth.

    1. yet here’s the thing – in Europe, if you are within Schengen, you don’t need any ID to fly. So perhaps the better question is why do we need an ID to fly? Especially when the IDs aren’t really checked at a checkpoint (though your boarding pass is electronically verified), does it really matter if you have a star on your license? Plenty of people can print fake IDs to match the name on a boarding pass, and if security is secure, then what purpose does this actually serve?

      1. For transportation purposes, an ID is simply a transition to biometric data. There is no need for an ID if the government has biometric data; if you have traveled internationally, the US government already has your data. So do most other countries.

        The whole purpose of matching ID to traveler is because there is a background check done of passengers via the ticketing process. The only way right now to connect the passenger in front of the TSA agent to the ticket is via an ID where they can look at you physically.

        To pretend that the government doesn’t and shouldn’t have an interest in knowing exactly who is traveling on public transport that has been used as a weapon of war is just plain silly and naïve. If terrorists can figure out how to derail subways and hijack city busses, the process for identification will spread there as well.

        And, once again, if the process for complying via your state is difficult, get a passport or Global Entry or any other federally approved picture identification. The states don’t control that process. And, as we have seen, even states like California that have potentially large numbers of people that need to get compliant IDs are processing people efficiently when people plan ahead.

        Besides, with a passport, you might venture beyond your own four walls would be a very good thing for most Americans.

        Brent clearly has a passport based on his travelogues. I suspect there are a whole lot more people that have or can get the documentation than a lot of people want to admit.
        Local and national news have been covering the Real ID requirements for months. It is highlighted in many state and federal offices and websites.

        1. > If terrorists can figure out how to derail subways

          Ask the Brits about subway attacks. Or the Spaniards about train attacks.

          The US had ID checks for domestic airline tickets before 9/11, except they were performed by airline staff to prevent you from selling your ticket.

      2. For driving, not requiring proof of citizenship is entirely appropriate. A drivers license’s purpose is to verify that you are safe to drive, not that you are allowed in the country.

        It’s convenient for the same piece of plastic to serve other purposes like demonstrating that you’re old enough to buy alcohol and, if you’re a US citizen, proof of that. But requiring proof of immigration status to be able to drive is bad policy. So the states that “resist” compulsory real ID are on the money, IMO. If the Federal government wants citizens to have ID demonstrating citizenship, they should take care of it themselves, eg by encouraging more people to us Passport Cards. Until I got Global Entry then NEXUS, I kept a passport card in my wallet at all times and used it as ID for flying and other Federal purposes. $30 for ten years. These should be encouraged much more than further overloading state driver licenses.

        1. @Alex Hill,
          You are absolutely right that the driver’s license has become the go-to document for proof of identity other than for passports; the driver’s license is under state control and is not intended to serve federal purposes. However, your argument falls apart if you cross state lines and wish to use your state-issued ID. Even if states come up w/ reciprocal agreements among themselves, there are already federally controlled databases that use driver’s license data. There is no US state that refuses to accept another state’s driver’s license for any purposes and yet the Real ID requirement is to ensure that every driver’s license issued in the US meets the same level of acceptability for identification. So, no, states do not have the ability to not participate in the Real ID program if they wish to participate in acceptability of their IDs across the US, including for federally required purposes. No US state or the federal government has blocked each other from sharing personal information about its citizens and residents.

          Passports issued by the US are biometric which is eventually what all IDs will be.

          States that are slow to meet the Real ID requirements are simply pushing more citizens to get federal IDs which benefits the federal government and its purposes.

          As with every other initiative, US states can work w/ the federal government or they can withdraw from the union; simply dragging their feet as a protest measure doesn’t work. The residents of those states, not the federal government, pays the price.

    2. This has nothing to do with immigration. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for REAL ID, regardless of whether the state allows them to have driver’s licenses.

  12. Greetings from Ultimate Slacker state. I have at least four Real IDs to choose from (Global Entry card, US passport card, US passport, foreign passport, …) so I am not in a rush to get my Oregon drivers license replaced (even though our DMV tends to not be a bad experience). I just have to remember to bring an additional ID along, but I tend to do that anyway as a backup in case I lose my wallet with drivers license.

    Regarding traveling without a license, what’s the plan if people lose their REALID license while traveling? Happened to me once, but fortunately I was already through security on the return trip (suspect I somehow forgot it at the airport bar waiting for the flight back home). Surely the “can’t fly without ID” isn’t going to stand.

    1. Another slacker stater here! I have exactly the same as you (must remember to renew my UK passport by July). I carry my GE card separate to my driver’s license (in my personal item) so the chances of losing both is slim.

      And note to self. Get to PDX two hours before flights next October, and longer around Thanksgiving/Christmas. Unless there’s another waiver issued that’s the place that’s going to have most aggro.

  13. Non-Real ID travelers after October 2020 will probably be handled similar to how non-ID travelers are handled today. They’ll get many more questions from the TSA, a complimentary full body massage, and complementary baggage unpacking, but be allowed to travel.

    That is until the lines get too long, and then everyone will be waved through as if they have PreCheck since the whole Real ID thing is just another scene in the security theater play.

  14. Actually there is, and will continue to be no requirement to have ID at the airport. While it will take longer to establish your identity, there have already been court cases, and the TSA lose every time. The website covers this in a lot more detail.

  15. First, almost no citizens are paying attention to this requirement. While the road warriors will all know, the other 50% of the people will show up and have “Real ID” problems. Congress will push this back to avoid a 2020 meltdown in October (or we really should vote them all out…this is easy Election Year Politics 101.)

    Second, beware of which documents can verify a Social Security Number. I had a government issued document (Marriage License) with my SSN on it. “No good.” Huh? Virginia interprets the Federal rule to be an Social Security Card OR a W-2. As a business owner, I explained that, while I do not receive a W-2, I could print one up with some bogus data and my correct SSN. VA DMV were fine with this option. Crazy.

    Last thing…the wait time to get a new Social Security card, if you need to go to the Soc Security Administration can make DMV look like a simple process. Then, it was back to the DMV to get the Real ID, which was another hour wait.

    1. Just spent 15 mins at my local SSA office to get replacement social security card for wife. That’s literally the time it took (no appointment), and the card should arrive in the mail in two weeks. Only document required was a US passport. In most states you can actually submit the application online, but not in Sasquatch land for some reason.

  16. Gary is right. There is a slightly less than 0% chance that the current administration will allow this to go through one month before a Presidential election. Handing a political victory of this magnitude to the opposition when the voters have the pitchforks in hand simply isn’t going to happen, ever. You’re going to see another 6-month “and we mean it for real this time seriously!!!” extension.

    That being said, anyone without a REAL ID-compliant license SHOULD take this seriously and start making preparations to start their renewals now. Where things really go off the rails is when a couple of million people flood DMV offices at the same time in August.

  17. Got my real ID drivers license with the “star” this past Sept. Michigan makes it fairly easy, an official copy of your birth certificate with the raised “seal” on it (a simple photocopy won’t do), easy to get the official copy from the state records office.

  18. I got this taken care of earlier this year when I renewed by Driver’s License. Annoying that you can’t Real ID both your DL and your California ID card (you can only do one but not both). My passport was already compliant and I have Global Entry plus a passport card so I was already covered. My DMV experience was quick because I booked an appointment and brought so much documentation that even if some of the documents weren’t what they wanted I had plenty that were. The problem is booking appointments needs to happen months ahead of time to get one unless you are planning on driving a long way (I drove from Saratoga down to Carmel for this).

    I am betting Congress pushes (or tries to) the deadline because it’s going to happen just before a national election.

  19. I would assume most of the people in this blog probably have passports. I will be using that. Too much of a pain dealing with this real ID stuff

  20. They will need to provide means o flying with no ID — what happens if you get pick-pocketed on the way to the airport?

  21. Tried to leave a comment but got a message I’ve never seen before: 429, Rate Limited and try again later.

    I’m not going to try and remember what I had written to will leave it at that……LOL

  22. “I would hope that the feds would have some sort of grace period”
    Grace period ??,…. they’ve been extending this information and lack of enforcement for 3-4 years already with information abounding everywhere for all of that time. There should be not one minute more of “grace”. And what about NY State – the state that Cuomo will now grant driver’s licenses to illegal invaders even if they don’t have ALL of the documentation required such as birth certificate or SS card?. I recently waited in a NY DMV for over three hours (with all correct data in hand) and did get my new enhanced ID but the wait was horrendous as they sorted out all the fools who step up to the counter with all the wrong documentation or lack of documentation. They’re not turning them away, they are making (what ????) exceptions at the cost of others such as myself having to wait behind them in line. Put the responsibility and the problem on the people who need to be responsible for providing proper documentation……, not at the time they step in front of those (DMV, TSA, etc) who have to hear tales of woe about not having a birth certificate or SS card. It’s like walking into a restaurant, ordering food and then saying you have no money to pay for it. The system is broken, I have no solution other than to plan out my responsibility in a timely manner and hope that these millions now getting driver’s licenses or renewals a lot easier and faster than I (an American citizen) don’t hit me in a car crash because, of course, they won’t have auto insurance. As well, I will be going to airports even earlier while the folks at the TSA and the non-compliant travelers in front of them argue over the matter and hold up lines even more.

  23. And here’s another question.

    What happens to those of us enrolled in CLEAR with non REAL ID drivers licenses? I presume we’re going to have to update our ID.

    I’m flying through ORD next Monday (which now has CLEAR, at least at T1) so I must remember to ask.

  24. ” That could be your deed, a mortgage bill, tax return, utility bills, etc. There are a ton of options for that, but it’s a real pain to gather all this.”

    Lemme share my experience on this particular item. Apparently they don’t clarify they don’t accept self-printed variants of your bills, even if printed from original PDF. Exactly how backwards they are to insist the original paper bill that no one has anymore.

    It’s not like that’s gonna deter real criminals either, cuz it’s not really that hard to generate a completely authentic-looking PDF then printing on fancy paper and calling it the original bill.

  25. People need to check their Real ID options thoroughly online before being scared of the DMV horror stories. When I moved to Florida, I got my Florida license using my New York license AND my passport as identification That information was recorded and saved by the state DMV. When I renewed, I got my Real ID license through the mail, without jumping through any hoops, because I had already proven my ID with the state, even though it was six years ago.

    Yes, the process will be rough for people who haven’t prepared or at least thought about it. But for some, all it takes is some research before assuming the worst.

  26. There’s a very simple solution that is available to everyone who can get a Real ID: a US passport card. $30 for ten years, and I believe it can be done by mail if you’re over 16 and already have a passport (and can be done at most post offices with the same documentation requirements as a real ID compliant license if you don’t have a passport). I really think that’s what the Feds should be pushing as the universal real ID compliant ID: no reason they should be outsourcing a Federal requirement to the states.

  27. Some states are very good. RealID is at no extra cost. Nevada is one of them.

    Washington state refused to do RealID because they want illegal aliens. Instead, they took advantage of a loophole in that you can pay more to get an Enhanced DL for use to cross the Canadian border.

  28. OK, getting a real ID isn’t all that hard. Went through the process last year when we finalized our move from IL to WI. While at the DMV changing my license, I was asked if I wanted the real ID and I replied in the affirmative. I needed 2 forms of proof of residency, my social security card and proof of my citizenship/birth date. I’d basically need all of these things to get the new license anyway so it added next to nothing to the process. Frankly, I don’t see what the big deal is about just doing it. We’ve had years worth of notice on this.

  29. Last month I was going through DTW, my home airport.  I have an Enhanced Michigan Drivers License.  I asked the TSA agent to verify that I would be OK after October 1.  I was told NO!!  The TSA officer indicated that only those licenses with the red star will be allowed.  I guess that means a trip to get my drivers license reissued.
    At a minimum, there seems to be inconsistency and confusion at TSA.  That could compound the problem of travelers not having the correct drivers license.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cranky Flier