Pella Chronicle

January 26, 2013

New requirements to get a “Real ID”

By Steve Woodhouse
The Chronicle

Pella — A law passed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack is coming into effect. A special “Real ID” identification card will be necessary for all Americans to have if they want access to federal buildings or ride a commercial aircraft.

Marion County Treasurer Denise Emal said her office began offering the “Real ID” designation on Jan. 15. Those aged 50 and older must have their “Real ID” by Dec. 1. All others must have theirs by Dec. 1, 2015.

According to a brochure, provided by the Iowa Department of Transportation, there are steps one must take to get a “Real ID,” including documentation that must be presented when renewing your driver's license. They include:

A document stating your date of birth, identity and lawful status or presence. One of the following documents can be used to establish this. They include a valid passport or passport card or a certified copy of your birth certificate. For foreign-born residents, there are several options one could present, depending on his or her immigration status.

If your name is different than it appears on the previous document, documentation of the name change must be presented. Court orders for name changes or a certified marriage certificate will meet this requirement.

Documentation of your Social Security Number. This can be achieved with a Social Security card. Emal says the DOT will require you to have the actual card if you want to use this one. Other options include a W-2, an SSA 1099 form, a pay stub with your Social Security number on it.

Documentation of your Iowa residency and residential address. The two documents required for this must have your physical address where you reside, not a post office box. These can include an Iowa voter registration card, valid Iowa vehicle registration certificate, a valid insurance card, utility bill and several other options.

Your current driver's license or identification card must be presented.

All documents must be originals unless otherwise noted. Emal says that once someone has undergone this process for the first time, they will not have to bring this documentation again to renew.

Not every resident will need a “Real ID,” as most people may not have the need to go to a federal building or the airport. Cost of the card is dependent on the kind of license you choose to get.

Emal says the law that requires this was passed in 2005 and is over 600 pages long. Not every state is pursuing this. Iowa is.

Another new aspect to getting a new license is that veterans can have their status as a veteran designated on their licenses. This will require documentation signed by the local Veterans Affairs Commission office (Mike Kuhn in Marion County).

The license issuing process will continue to include sending your license request to an out-of-state location. For more information on driver's licenses and the “Real ID,” visit www.iowadot.gov.