We are one year away from Real I.D. requirements, are you ready?

We are one year away from Real I.D. requirements, are you ready?
A North Carolina REAL ID looks like a standard driver’s license or ID card, except for the gold star in the upper right-hand corner. (Credit: NCDMV)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - With the deadline of the Federal Real I.D. program rapidly approaching, the U.S. government is urging citizens who do not already have a Real I.D. to strongly consider getting one sooner rather than later.

So what exactly is a “Real I.D.”?

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the United States Government decided it needed a better, more authentic way of identifying citizens. Congress came up with the Real I.D. program. The Department of Homeland Security states on it’s website, “The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.The Act was passed in 2005 but has been delayed numerous times over the years by Congress.

In North Carolina however, as per NC DMV’s website, the Real I.D. is NOT needed for, driving, voting, applying for or receive federal benefits (e.g., Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, etc.), entering a federal facility that does not require an ID (e.g,. a post office), accessing a hospital or receiving life-saving services, participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations (e.g., serve on a federal jury, testify in federal court, etc.)

How do I get a Real I.D.?

A Real I.D. CANNOT be obtained online. In order to obtain a Real I.D. you must go to your local NC DMV location and provide the following documentation:

  • One document (with full name) proving identity and date of birth (Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, Valid Unexpired Foreign Passport)
  • One document (with full name and Social Security Number) confirming Social Security Number (Social Security card, 1099 tax form, W-2 form)
  • Two Documents (with current physical address) proving North Carolina residency (Utility bill or cable bill, School records, North Carolina Vehicle Registration Card, insurance policy or title, Housing lease or contract, mortgage statement, property or income tax statement, Military orders or military documents)

If applicable, you will need to provide one or more documents verifying any name changes.

If you are not a legal U.S. Citizen you will also need to provide one document (with full name) proving legal presence/lawful status.

The deadline for Federal Real I.D. requirements is October 1. 2020. The NCDMV predicts about 1.8 million people will try and get a Real I.D. by the 2020 deadline and anticipates longer and longer lines at local DMV locations as the deadline inches closer and encourages citizens to get a Real I.D. as soon as possible. If you would like more information on Real I.D.'s, just visit NCREALID.gov

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