California Real ID

sheilajoyce_gw

I am heading off to the DMV to get my California Real ID next Monday. I finally have copies of all my documents, none are laminated, all are clear copies. I do have an appointment, so I hope it won't take long. It took me 7 hours to renew my driver's license in July, and they locked me out of being able to make an appointment on the day the renewal notice came. Only in California!

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Fun2BHere

Mine is due, too. I've just about decided to skip the Real ID process and renew my old license by mail. I don't need Real ID to travel as I have a passport card.

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pudgeder

What is a "real ID?"

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Fun2BHere

A real ID is a form of identification that meets increased security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. Travelers will be required to provide either a real ID or another TSA-approved form of identification in order to fly after October 1, 2020.

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OklaMoni

Oklahoma has requested yet another extension...

Isn't a real id also needed to get in to federal buildings?


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Annie Deighnaugh

Oh...we did that many years ago...just never heard it called real ID.

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Michael

Enhanced DL here. Long time ago.

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Uptown Gal

Here, too....even been updated at a renewal time already.

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OutsidePlaying

Alabama has started it too. Of course we ‘could’ have gotten it years ago and when we last renewed our licenses. Did they tell us that then? Of course not. DH and I did t choose to do it because we both had TSA pre-check and I have had Global Entry for years. Now the state says we must have it so I guess I will go get it. Alabama also calls it Star ID because a gold star will be added to one’s license.

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Bookwoman

We did this a couple of months ago. Took 20 minutes at the local DMV office, and we were surprised at how easy it was.

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Mrs Pete

Alabama also calls it Star ID because a gold star will be added to one’s license.

I just checked my license. I also have a star beside my name, though I've never heard that phrase.

Isn't a real id also needed to get in to federal buildings?

Also military bases, if you're a civilian and don't have a military ID. Of course, not many of us go into these places on a regular basis. I suspect that -- as time goes on -- more secure places will require this slightly-more-stringent ID.

We did this a couple of months ago. Took 20 minutes at the local DMV office, and we were surprised at how easy it was.

I renewed my license last spring, and it was the easiest experience I've ever had at a DMV. I was in and out in about 20 minutes -- I was more than 30 minutes early for my appointment, but they called me straight back. I never even sat down in the waiting room.

Random notes:

- I did do the Real ID. My new license is good until 2027 (love that -- and every other renewal can be done online, so it'll actually be -- I think -- SIXTEEN YEARS 'til I have to set foot in their building again ???), and I figured that in all that time the Real ID will become mandatory, and I'll be glad to just have it done. Having this Real ID "at the ready" also means I don't have to carry a second document if I'm flying domestically. I thought it just made sense to go ahead and go through the trouble and do it.

- I carefully gathered up all my documents /had them in order on a clipboard, so as the lady called out what I needed, I had it ready to hand over. Preparation is key here.

- I had a few backup documents 'cause sometimes those DMV people don't quite follow the lists /maybe aren't the sharpest crayons in the box. I once overheard a knock-down-drag-out fight when the DMV people wouldn't accept a passport as identification (for a child's identification card -- not even a license!) Perhaps it was an expired passport? Don't know; didn't have a dog in that fight. I myself once "went at it" with a DMV guy on my daughter's behalf. She was 16 and had to show that she'd driven with a parent at least 10 hours in the day light and 10 hours at night (or something like that). She had documented well over 10 hours of each ... and the guy was telling her she couldn't have MORE /couldn't get her license because she had practiced "too much" -- told her she'd have to take a new form and begin again. He did not understand the meaning of the phrase "at least". I actually wrote a letter of complaint about him (and his supervisor).

- My one complaint about my latest renewal: I took an awful, awful picture. I should've asked if I could have it re-done, especially since I have to keep it 'til 2035.

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eld6161

I am confused though. I updated my license a while ago to the new one. But then I heard that this license has to changed to in order to travel. I have a passport.

Annie, not sure how you could have done it years ago, isn't this a fairly new requirement?

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sushipup1

Different states adopted it at different times. Some several years ago, some just this year.

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eld6161

Getting a REAL ID is not mandatory but is encouraged

A REAL ID is optional and is not needed for the following:

  • Being licensed to drive
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
  • Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
  • Accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

If you decide you do not want a REAL ID or Enhanced document, please be advised that any license, permit or ID card issued after October 30, 2017 will be marked “Not for Federal Purposes”.

If you have a U.S. Passport, it can be used for identification, boarding a plane for domestic and international flights, and entry into a federal building or military base.

This is from the DVD site. So if it's not mandatory why is it encouraged?

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Bookwoman

So if it's not mandatory why is it encouraged?

Perhaps to avoid issues at the airport if people a) don't have a passport and b) don't want to carry one when they fly domestically. I foresee many news stories about people not being allowed to get on a plane after October 2020 because they don't have the correct form of ID, and the resulting airport kerfuffles.

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HU-955941711

The REAL ID act was passed by Congress in 2005, but the states are responsible for implementing it. It took longer to get things rolling in some states than others and then some had to be recalled because the requirements were changed.

I got mine earlier this month and it was the smoothest transaction I've had at DMV in 55 years.

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maifleur01

Unless things have changed the blurb that I saw at the DMV here stated the Real Id would be required in 2020. Not the last time I renewed but the time before that I had to bring a certified copy of both my birth certificate and marriage license along with other stuff proving where I lived. They would not accept your original birth certificate in case anyone is thinking they can use that. However at that time they were not issuing the Real Id which has a chip in it so this is a reminder that I need to locate those things for when I renew mine in January. For those who are not aware if you have had any name change, marriage, divorce, adoption, to obtain Real Id you must have certified copies of those changes. You can go to your own state's DMV website to see what documents you will need.

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Chessie

If you don't mind having to carry your passport when you fly domestically, then you don't need a Real ID. Personally, I think it is worth the trouble - I only carry my passport internationally. It was a PITA, for me, as I was missing ONE document (the front desk folks told me I had everything I needed, but when I got to the counter, 1 HOUR later, I was told something else)...so I had to come back a second time. It depends on your DMV office - there have been stories of very long lines for folks trying to get this before the deadline. Lots of people don't have passports, so getting the Real Id might be less work (and money) for them.

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murraysmom Zone 6a OH

I renewed my license in March 2018, just a couple of months before the Real ID (not sure it's called that here) was to become mandatory. I didn't even know the time for having it done was coming up. My license is just the regular license. It does not say "Not for Federal Purposes" on it. I have a passport so I didn't care. Mine expires in 2022 so I will see if somehow I can't use my license to even drive. I heard many horror stories about women who had been divorced years ago and had to get copies of their divorce decrees and marriage licenses and birth certificates and copies of a utilities bill and on and on. I feel like I dodged a bullet, at least for now.

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Annie Deighnaugh

The important thing is to make sure your name on your DL exactly matches your name on your passport.

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Annie Deighnaugh


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patriceny

I did this in NY.

As long as you have carefully verified you have everything you need with you, hopefully your process is as easy as mine was. I made sure I had literally everything I could possibly need with me - I even brought some back-up documents just in case - and I was in/out of the DMV in like 15 minutes. Would have been even quicker but I look like a creature of the dead in photos so we took a couple re-dos. Ha.

The person at the counter said it tends to go smoothly as long as everyone truly has brought everything on the checklist. Don't assume they'll let you skate by if you are missing anything and/or what you brought doesn't exactly match what they say you need.

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blfenton

Does the Real ID (or similar) take the place of a passport for international travel? That would surprise me if it did.


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Bookwoman

bifenton, no. It's just for domestic purposes.

For those of you who are married, changed your name, and have a passport, there's no need to bring a birth certificate, marriage license, etc. You need two forms of name ID, and a passport and your social security card fulfill those requirements, as long as the names match. Then you also need two forms of address id, and your regular driver's license and car registration (or utility bill, etc.) work for that.

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patriceny

Blfenton - if I'm remembering correctly, you can use them to board a domestic flight, and to cross back into the US from Canada or Mexico.

I upgraded because I think the "basic" driver's license won't work to board an airline after a certain date.


(ETA - I have the "enhanced" license, which is another level of security up from the Real ID one. So what I wrote above applies to the enhanced version, not the real id. So confusing!)

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maire_cate

Requirements vary by state - in NJ you need a very specific set of documents just to renew your regular driver's license. It's a 6-Point system with different points assigned to each document and you need a primary id, a secondary, a social secucrity # and proof of address.

NJ had an extension but they finally stated issuing the Real ID in June. My license expires in a few months so I'll be able to get the new version and they've added more identification requirements too.


edited to add - just checked with NJ Motor Vehicles, they're behind schedule. So far they have only issued the new license to driver's who work for Motor Vehicles. They claim they're testing the software so that it's " working as planned" so that we won;t have long lines and mass confusion when it's introduced throughout the state.

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morz8

Ours are Enhanced licenses. The year we applied for them, they couldn't be obtained locally. The closest office issuing Enhanced was an hour away. I gathered up everything we needed, then discovered when we got there the copy I had of DH's birth certificate that I had always thought was a legal document was not - even with its embossed mark. Had to make a trip to Vital Records on the other side of town and pay for a legal copy, go back again. Those licenses took all afternoon. Washington state.

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Chessie


blfenton

Does the Real ID (or similar) take the place of a passport for international travel? That would surprise me if it did.


NO. This is just for DOMESTIC travel. You STILL need a passport for international travel.

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maifleur01

Bookworm and others if you have a passport your information is already on file as you needed all the name change documents to obtain one in recent years. I applied earlier this year for one and I needed the same documents that I would need for a drivers license. Many people do not have a passport.

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patriceny

NY Enhanced License does work in lieu of a passport for Canada and Mexico.

What is an Enhanced Driver License (EDL)?An
Enhanced license (permit, or non-driver ID) is a New York State DMV
issued document that you can use instead of a passport to return to the
US by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the
Caribbean.

Source:

https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/get-enhanced-driver-license-edl

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sheilajoyce_gw

My sister's friend had laminated her Social Security Card. They refused to take it and she had to get another SS card to apply for her Real ID. DH had also laminated his SS card 60 years ago. Luckily, the laminate was starting to detach, so he warmed it slightly with the iron and was able to remove the rest of the laminate without damaging the card.

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blfenton

Our BC enhanced drivers license works for getting into the US as well. IF you don't have a drivers license, for whatever reason, you can get an enhanced ID card which will work for getting into the US as well. We just use our passports.

When BC began this program a few years ago it was very confusing and there were a couple of different levels but now there is just the one.

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gyr_falcon

sheilajoyce, I highly recommend you fill out the Real ID form online, if you have not already done so! It will save a lot of time.


I was a worried while trying to make an appointment at our local DMVs for a Real ID--none of the three closest checked were accepting appointments at all, and I even checked in north San Diego County. But the Santa Ana office was, so I made an appointment and went there. I braced for a nightmare day, because I figured if they were the only branch doing appointments, it was going to be packed. What a surprise! There was plenty of parking and the whole process took under 20 minutes. Even the non-appointment line wasn't bad. And when another family member needed to get his a few months later, it was the same experience.

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sjerin

I found a dmv office in San Jose that only issues licenses, making the process much faster. Yes, I did have an appointment and breezed through.

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Michael

I've never presented my Enhanced DL, always my passport. However......according to the sign at the Detroit Windsor tunnel, I can present either.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea are required to present a valid Western Hemisphere travel initiative-compliant document, which includes:

  • U.S. passports
  • U.S. passport cards
  • Enhanced driver's licenses
  • Trusted Traveler cards (Global Entry*, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • Military identification cards


The next time I cross over I'm going to present my Enhanced DL to Canadian border check.

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Elmer J Fudd

".... U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea.... "

I'll bet the majority of US citizens who enter the US from abroad do so at airports, so this particular feature won't apply for most "international" travel.

I haven't gotten an enhanced drivers license yet but will do so before the effective mandatory date, to avoid having to carry my passport for in-US flights.

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jewels_ks

When I renewed my DL last January I did not have the correct marriage license to get my Real ID. I had to order a certified marriage license from the state and I will go get my Real ID in the next month or so.

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Elizabeth

I have a Michigan enhanced driver's license. I can travel by land or water to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and Caribbean nations with it. I cannot fly. It took quite a bit of ID to get it and a 3 question quiz about things detailed on my birth certificate. $22 and a new photo. Going over the Canadian border with it is so easy in some places you just press it up against your driver window and they pass a hand held device over it. And *Bleep* A couple seconds later the barrier goes up.

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Lars

I always have my passport with me, and I have a special sleeve that I put it in so that it cannot be scanned without my knowing it. I always use my passport when flying, even domestically, as it is just easier for me. Most of my flights are international anyway.

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maifleur01

I do not know if the card sleeves that hotels are currently using also block the reading of cards but the old ones that feel like they have plastic in them work the same as the sleeve that Lars mentioned. Hotels started using them to prevent people reading the door cards then entering peoples rooms. I wish I had saved more of them.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

It's being discussed on the national news tonight on NBC. I had read it was going to be mandatory here soon. My drivers license expires in 2020. I guess I will be doing it at the same time as my drivers license.

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maifleur01

I do not think it is all people in this state whose license will expire in 2020 but there is a large portion in this part of my state. Being in an older group several whose license expired last year voiced concern at our monthly lunches when they realized their license was good for only two years. Every one of the 20 there that day had 2020 as their renewal.

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sushipup1

OK, how many of you women who have changed your name when you married still have a wedding certificate laying around? And if you have married more than once and changed your name more than once, can you match the name on your birth certificate? Sheesh. I'll carry my passport.

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maifleur01

sushi even if a woman has her wedding certificate lying around it would not be accepted. It has to be a certified copy.

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Chessie

"OK, how many of you women who have changed your name when you married still have a wedding certificate laying around? "


Well, I have a certified copy. I also have my SS card with my changed name, and my passport is in my married name as well.

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Chessie

ravencajun Zone 8b TX

" I guess I will be doing it at the same time as my drivers license."


It IS your drivers license. Your new one will be a REAL ID.

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maifleur01

Chessie do you also have a certified copy of your birth certificate?

One thing I am wondering about is all the people with passports who received them before a certified copy of documents were required. I just looked and to renew a copy of name change documents must be provided but I saw nothing about certified copies. When I finally applied for a passport earlier this year the person checking the documents made a comment about everything being certified. I make the assumption that like drivers license the documents had to be certified.

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kimfreiburg

I went to get my real ID two days ago and I had an appointment at 12:40, I waited for 2 hours even with an appointment. I was told they take walk ins in between people with appointments and their wait is 3 hours or more. Good luck to anyone going I waited 3 months for that appointment.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I guess some of this must be state dependent. It is not that big a deal here in WA and any DMV licensing office will handle it. No appointment necessary, first come first served, although regular licensing office activity can necessitate a wait and for an enhanced license you need to be there at least 60 minutes (and with no line) before closing.

And the documentation is not that big a deal either. Proof of citizenship (valid US passport), proof of identity (current driver's license), proof of Social Security (card or other SSA documentation) and proof of residency (current vehicle registration, current utility bills, current cable, internet, cell or landline phone bills - 2 pieces showing name and address).

My regular license expires in just under 2 months so I will be getting my enhanced version then........at a cost of $80!!

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patriceny

I agree with gardengal it has to be state dependent. No appointments necessary in NY. I walked in DMV with every document I needed, and was all done and walking back out in about 15 minutes.

Our local DMV used to be a nightmare. The personnel seemed miserable in their job and took it out on the customers. It was a local running joke. But the state is switching so many services (renewals, etc.) over to online availability that the number of reasons one needs to visit a DMV in person is dropping. The DMV closest to me had such a bad rap folks were driving to the next closest center anyway too. So between all of that, the number of people they were providing services to in person was so low there was talk of closing that office down.

All of a sudden, they're a lot nicer in there. :)

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maifleur01

I had a thought seeing the assumption that everyone has a passport. Although a passport is $145 it could cut short the time needed to obtain the newer drivers license. You have to make an appointment which for me earlier this year was 5 weeks and have the same documentation but you would have it for 10 years. This was my first passport and I do know others that have never had nor intend to have one.

Here you have to wait in line for drivers license after taking a number at the facility. In the neighboring state you can go on line to take a number then show up when your number is about to be called.

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Chessie

maifleur01

"Chessie do you also have a certified copy of your birth certificate?"


Yup. I got it many many years ago.. I got my son one too. Everyone should have this.

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Elmer J Fudd

"Everyone should have this."


Why? I can't remember a single instance in the last 25+ years I've needed mine. I don't think I have one handy, is that a problem?

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pb32

I don't even know what a certified copy is. I have the originals. Why would I want a copy?

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maifleur01

pb you will want a certified copy because if you obtain one of the Real Id Drivers license or even a regular drivers license the DMV with not accept a non-certified copy.

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Elmer J Fudd

I just looked at the California DMV Real ID checklist.


If you present a passport or green card, there's no need to present a certified birth certificate copy. A quick Google search disclosed that 42 percent of Americans have passports, and this most certainly closely coincides with the segment that travel. So I'll bet the majority of people who would want a Real ID drivers license for domestic travel purposes have a passport and so won't need any form of a birth certificate.


Any flaw in this reasoning?

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pb32

New York accepted my original birth certificate to get my enhanced license. It's the original. Why would I want a copy of the original?

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maifleur01

Elmer you might want to look at the passport renewal page for future reference. I did last night. 40% is not a majority of people.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I guess there will be a lot of people here in Houston that no longer have any of their documents. I lost pretty much all of them in the flood. I need to get a passport, a new birth certificate and a marriage license. Same for my husband. It's just sickening how much we lost that we have to try to get replaced. And people just don't understand when you tell them you don't have anything, they get ugly.

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Bookwoman

raven, I know that in a lot of states you can order these documents online. Perhaps it's the same in TX?

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Anglophilia

Kentucky is going through all this right now. They have had to change their driver's licenses in order for them to be accepted by the TSA. There is an additional fee for these "enhanced" licenses.


There used to be two kinds of birth certificates. The hospital gave the parents one for the baby when they left. Oh it looks quite impressive - used to have an embossed seal and a footprint of the baby on it. But it's not a "valid" birth certificate. That is the "certified birth certificate". This is the one issued by the state, not the one from the hospital. Many people never request these from their state Bureau of Vital Statistics or whatever it's called in ones state of birth.

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Elmer J Fudd

" Elmer you might want to look at the passport renewal page for future reference. I did last night. 40% is not a majority of people. "

You misread my comment. I said

" 42 percent of Americans have passports, and this most certainly closely coincides with the segment that travel. So I'll bet the majority of people who would want a Real ID drivers license for domestic travel purposes have a passport " The 42 percent stat was as of January 2018 and the number today is higher because of passports issued in 2018 and the first half of 2019.

I'll say it another way - I'm certain that more than 20 percent of Americans don't regularly travel by airplane, so 80% do at one time or another. But a stat I found said that the number in any given year is that more than 50 percent don't. And about 15 percent never have.

If only 80 percent of Americans travel by air, then half of that number is 40%. 45% of Americans have a passport, that's more than half of the number who travel. That was what I said.

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Elmer J Fudd

" Kentucky is going through all this right now. "

Anglo, this is true for the states (some 25% of the total) that hadn't previously adopted rules that conform to the federal Real ID law.

As of the beginning of the year, my search found these are the laggards:

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gyr_falcon

The current list of states that are under extension is Oregon, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Maine. The other states are compliant.

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maifleur01

If you click on the states it will bring up some interesting statistics for each state.

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