Will REAL ID (enhanced driver licenses) finally be a thing in the USA?

So, after doing a bit of travel lately, I see the signs at the TSA about they really mean it this time and everyone will need the enhanced driver license to fly domestically in the USA.

For me, I could care less, I use my USA passport as ID for domestic flights. But hasn’t this REAL ID nonsense been the supposed rule since 9/11 changed everything? It’s going to be 2020 next week. There’s been endless delays, I believe because of states not wanting to deal with the hassle and staffing required to fix something that isn’t broken.

So, what say you of the Dope? By December 31 of 2020, will everyone need REAL ID or a passport to fly domestically in the USA?

I say NO, they’ll be yet another extension. Perhaps that’ll be the rule by the time my 6 year old nephew is an adult.

I went down to the Thompson Center and got mine a month ago. It took about twenty minutes. There were a lot of people doing the same. I can’t say if there will be another extension or not, but people seem to be taking it seriously.

Yeah, after years of ignoring the threats, I got my enhanced license last month. Not having a social security card was the only difficult part. I asked our payroll person to give me a check stub with my complete SSN on it. That did the trick. Having a valid passport was good for most of the rest of the documentation.

I have mine too, also from the Thompson Center (Chicago, IL). I hate looking at it, it was raining something fierce when I went to go get it as my old one was expiring.

I think places like Arizona give you a license valid for 25 years or something insane like that. I’m sure some of the retirees couldn’t pass the vision test today if they had to.

You don’t need to pass a test to get a “Real ID” license.
You just show up with all your documentation, get a new photo taken, and hand in your old “Fake ID” license, and the new one comes in the mail.

Yep. I also had to pay $5. When the new license showed up, I was surprised to note that it had the same expiration date as the old one. You’d think they’d start you fresh after all that trouble.

I had to take the vision test, I’ve got corrective lenses as a license restriction.

I had to take the vision test, too, but I didn’t bother getting my RealID until my license expired last month. So, the vision test could have been just part of the normal expiring license routine. The whole process was easy peasy.

The only problem was wanting to make an appt at the DMV and not being able to get one on the Westside at all before my birthday. I had to go down to Torrance, and that wasn’t until two days before my birthday.

Guess they’re not allocating that many appt slots to save room for drop ins?


I got one a couple of months ago because my old one would have expired today. It wasn’t a big deal once you got all of the documentation together. It’s exactly like the old one except there is an extra little symbol on the front that shows that you provided the extra documentation.

How are people finding this so easy? I had to do the Real ID thing several years ago (in WY), and a vision test would have been the least of my headaches. I had to supply

  1. my birth certificate
  2. proof of state residency (I think I used a utility bill.)
  3. social security card copy
  4. legal proof of every name change
    and probably other stuff I don’t recall.

Re: #4, that meant I had to supply my marriage certificate plus the paperwork from my divorce, since I went back to my maiden name. I knew someone who was on her fourth marriage; she had to supply marriage certificates from each divorce, and she couldn’t find the first two, as they’d been decades earlier.

And OH, CRAP! I just looked at my Washington state DL, and it’s not enhanced: no pink banner or US flag, the WA indicators. That means I’m going to have to go through this AGAIN in order to fly. (No passport.)

ETA: I had to get a new DL when I moved here and show my WY DL as part of that.

If I did it once in my old state, why do I have to go through it again here? My ID isn’t real any more? :mad:

I can see how this could be a major pain for some people. I’m just saying for me it was easy. I’ve never changed my name. Utility bills are easy. I have a passport. I was able to get SSN info without my lost card that satisfied WA-DOL.

I got mine earlier this year. Took less than half an hour, since I made sure I had documentation.

My wife also got hers. If anything, it took less time for her.

Fun fact: in NY, the ID has a b&w photo and a hologram. Since I have white hair and a white beard, the hologram looks blank unless you look closely.

I’m actually very happy it was easy for you and probably a lot of other people, too. I think if you’ve never changed your name, that makes it a lot easier. One problem for me was that I didn’t get the marriage certificate in the divorce, so I had to go through some rigamarole there.

So you’re SurrealityChuck? :slight_smile:

[del]You won’t need an enhanced drivers license to fly. That’s a separate thing, for crossing the border. The marker for a REAL ID-compliant license is a star.[/del]

Never mind, Washington only lets you get an enhanced license or a non-compliant license. Weird.

I know I am paddling upstream, but I wish that there was an active program to get back to pre-9/11 security measures or at least identify a reason to continue some of the post-9/11 ones.

This REAL ID nonsense seems a good candidate for the burn pile. As it has been postponed for 20 years, perhaps it isn’t necessary. The 9/11 hijackers could have all gotten REAL ID compliant licenses and it seems silly to inconvenience millions of people for…reasons.

Coincidentally I was checking in guests last night muttering unhappily about the Real ID. Having one is Bad because now THEY can track what flights you take. I pretended very hard I hadn’t heard that.

I haven’t flown commercially for many years and I don’t expect to.

My license expires in 2022 so I’m thinking I’ll wait until then to get a Real ID. Or maybe not even then. I’ll probably be living in a nursing home by then.

I have docs that I think should be everything I need. But I’ve read and heard so many horror stories about how over-the-top nitpicky they can be about what docs they will accept. F’rinsance, you need a “certified” copy of your birth certificate. What will some flunky front-line DMV clerk recognize as a “certified” certificate? I got my birth certificate 40-some years ago and still have it. Are the markings from that long ago still recognizable today?

Most if not all the people who wrote before you were male, so highly unlikely to have had name changes. And well, that’s a PITA because you guys are still on pen and paper on so many things (often, purposefully). When I got my own name legally changed so it would show the same in all my Spanish-government-issued ID, and once the Civil Records Office had typed the judge’s order into their computer, it got transferred to every other system the next time the interfaces ran (within 24h).

Arizona licenses are good until a driver is 65 no matter how old they are when they get one. So if you get your unrestricted license at 18, you could potentially keep it for 47 years.