After 9/11, the Federal Government made the decision to implement a new all-encompassing form of identification in each state to streamline air travel throughout the United States.
The Real ID, which will replace a regular California driver’s license, has slowly been implemented in the United States over the last 15 years even though the deadline with the federal government for full compliance for all 50 states is October 1, 2020.
As of October of this year, 37 states and territories were compliant, 19 have been granted extensions and California just began offering this enhanced ID on January 22, 2018.
According to KFI AM radio hosts, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of the John and Ken Show, California is behind in the compliance process – only 1.5 million people have transitioned their driver’s licenses to the Real ID since January 2018, which means there are 23.5 million more people that need to apply before the federal compliance deadline of October 1, 2020.
At a recent committee meeting at the Capitol in Sacramento, members of the assembly were taken aback to learn these statistics.
“It doesn’t appear to me we’re anywhere near on track,” said state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica. “I’m just worried about the chaos that may ensue. … There’s this huge cloud out there of getting from 1.5 million to 25 million in the course of two years.”
Republican Sen. Ted Gaines echoed this sentiment, “We’ve got a mess on our hands.”
People regularly complain about the long lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and it is bound to get much worse.
Just weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee reported that the Director of the California DMV, Jean Shiomoto, has asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to extend the Real ID deadline for California, however, this request has been denied.
“If we could move that date out a little further, we’d appreciate it. … customers are just not hearing everything correctly and being prepared,” Jean Shiomoto said.
The Real ID will allow domestic flight without any further identifying documentation, however, if an individual never plans to fly this type of ID may not be necessary.
There is a choice between a federal compliant Real ID driver license or identification card OR a federal non-compliant driver license or ID card if people do not plan to travel by plane in the future.
Traveling by plane after October 1, 2020 without the Real ID will require a second valid form of identification, most particularly a current passport.
The cost of an adult passport in California is $110, plus a $35 processing fee for a total of $145, and it can take weeks for processing. A Real ID total cost is the same as a regular driver license or identification card in California – $35 for a driver license and $30 for a California ID.
Make sure to review all the required DMV documentation when applying for the Real ID at the California DMV website www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/realid and save time by making an appointment.
There is no study available indicating whether the Real ID will smooth out the domestic Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) airport security clearance process, or for that matter make U.S. citizens safer – only time will tell.