The Real Deal on REAL ID

The REAL ID Act was passed in Congress in 2005 in response to 9/11. The Act established 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 and territories 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 aircraft. Currently, Oklahoma is one of only four states and territories that do not have REAL ID in place.

The REAL ID Act covers 56 jurisdictions, including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

REAL ID does not apply to the following:

Entering federal facilities that do not require personal identification, voting or registering to vote, applying for or receiving any federal benefits, obtaining a driver’s license, accessing health care, law enforcement facilities, or constitutionally protected activities, such a defendant’s access to court proceedings.

REAL ID is not an enhanced driver’s license

Enhanced Driver’s licenses are state-issued driver’s licenses that provide a low-cost alternative to prove citizenship and identity. When entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean.

REAL ID not mandatory in Oklahoma

Oklahoma will allow individuals to choose between a REAL ID driver’s license/ID card. If a person chooses to get a non-compliant license or card, he or she will need to present alternative forms of identification, such as a U.S. passport, accepted by the agency in question. Some agencies or facilities may have additional requirements to accommodate individuals lacking the correct ID.

The following documents are needed to obtain a REAL ID are Proof of identity and lawful residence in the U.S., such as a birth certificate or unexpired permanent resident card, proof of your social security number, and two documents proving principal residence, such as a utility bill, voter ID card, or lease agreement.

The REAL ID license/identity cards are now being issued at Oklahoma tag agencies. The cost for a new REAL ID is $43.50, renewal is $38.50. Individuals aged 62 to 64 will pay a pro-rated rate. The REAL ID is free once one reaches 65.

NOTE: The Department of Homeland Security has granted one last extension to October 1, 2021.
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Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler

Charles Betzler is a contributing writer for Sapulpa Times.