‘Real ID’ Driver’s Licenses: Don’t Be Caught Short

Starting in October, the only driver’s license that the TSA will accept for boarding flights will be the Real ID version, which requires additional identification documents to receive. One hitch: Currently in New Jersey, you need to make an appointment at a motor vehicle office to get one, and appointments go fast. Right now, the earliest available are in April. I worry what’s going to happen as October approaches and millions of state residents realize they don’t have a Real ID license.

Here is a link to information about Real ID: https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/realid/

Here is a link for scheduling an appointment: https://mymvc.state.nj.us/realid-scheduling-system/welcome.xhtml?custId=213824

Appointments can be scheduled no more than three months in advance, and when I went to renew my license last month, the appointment calendars through March were full for every MVC office in the state. April dates now appear to be opening day by day; yesterday, I noticed April 2 was open at the Springfield office (April 1 was already full), so I snagged a spot, but the rest of the month was still unavailable. Expect this to be the opposite of easy, so plan now.

A side advisory about normal license renewal at Springfield: It was a mess. Four years ago, I don’t recall any hassle: Went in, got a number, out in about a half-hour. Last month (Monday, Dec. 16, so mid-month), I arrived around 1 p.m. The line just to present my ID papers and get a number was 90 minutes long. (With only one employee checking ID, any glitch — and nearly everyone had a glitch — held up the line. Also, people with Real ID appointments went straight to the front of the line, delaying others even more.) I waited another hour with my number before deciding that it wasn’t going to be called by the time the office closed at 4:30, so I left.

I returned around 10 a.m. two days later to start over. (I had overheard an employee tell someone else that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days.) The line to show ID and get a number was again long and slow with a single checker — one customer alone took 15 minutes to be cleared — but eventually a second employee joined her, and a third employee went down the line to make sure in advance that everyone had filled out the form correctly. I was out after about an hour and a half.

Lesson: If you’re simply renewing your license, go early in the day, midweek, and leave yourself plenty of time.


Seems like it's easier to get a passport. 


I had an appointment in Bayonne for the Real ID on 12/31 at 11AM--place was PACKED and they were turning people away for renewal licenses.  But because I had an appointment, they had me fill out some redundant DMV form but I was called within 5 minutes.  

The "2-6-1" document selector--come with more than you need, as you don't want to repeat.

What took the most amount of time was them having to scan my documents indiovidually at least 4 times, which they warned me about in the beginning.  Total time at DMV for Real ID with an appointment:  30 minutes.  They won't renew your license btw when you get the star/Real ID--that date doesn't change.


bak said:

They won't renew your license btw when you get the star/Real ID--that date doesn't change.

Thanks for the real-life account.

Just to clarify: While they won’t update and advance your current license’s expiration date, I believe you can renew your license and get Real ID at the same time if your current license is expiring and you’ve made a Real ID appointment in time. (This is, if my license were expiring in April, my new Real ID license wouldn’t expire for another four years.) 


I have a newly issued passport card ( which is a "real id")  so I hope i can just renew by mail in august when my license expires.  njdmv says a real id is not required.


oots said:

I have a newly issued passport card ( which is a "real id")  so I hope i can just renew by mail in august when my license expires.  njdmv says a real id is not required.

Right, a regular driver’s license will remain fine for a driver’s license. A Real ID license would just spare you from having to carry your passport for domestic air travel.

My renewal notice said I wasn’t eligible for mail-in renewal. Hopefully, you will be.


Another renewal side note (file under MVC, for Minor but Vexing Consequence): My renewal notice arrived in the mail with a form that it said to fill out and present at the motor vehicle office. When I did so, I was told that the form is no longer accepted, and that I had to fill out a different one there.


ml1 said:

Seems like it's easier to get a passport. 

It is. I got Real Id. Its more time consuming than getting a passport. It took tedious 20 minutes for them to process my application. 

The NJ system for required documents is a joke. A passport or passport card is real id compliant. One should be able to get their NJ Drivers Real Id based on that. Instead, besides my passport, I had to submit numerous other documents.


ml1 said:

Seems like it's easier to get a passport. 

 It is! I just got my passport renewed. Much easier, and I didn't have to wrestle with that stupid parking machine in Springfield, which is always the worst part of the whole process.


BG9 said:

ml1 said:

Seems like it's easier to get a passport. 

It is. I got Real Id. Its more time consuming than getting a passport. It took tedious 20 minutes for them to process my application. 

The NJ system for required documents is a joke. A passport or passport card is real id compliant. One should be able to get their NJ Drivers Real Id based on that. Instead, besides my passport, I had to submit numerous other documents.

it's a federal requirement that a person needs to present more than just a valid real id like a passport in order to get a real id driver's license.  From the DHS website

Q: How do I get a REAL ID?
Visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency website to find out exactly what documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID. At a minimum, you must provide documentation showing: 1) Full Legal Name; 2) Date of Birth; 3) Social Security Number; 4) Two Proofs of Address of Principal Residence; and 5) Lawful Status.

A real ID like a passport will not check boxes 3 and 4.


Your papers please?


If you have a passport, you don't need to deal with this Real ID crap, do you?


If you have a passport, you can carry it with you for domestic travel when the new rules take effect. 

Another solution is to obtain a Global Entry card, the cost of which ($100 for five years) is covered by some credit card issuers. (In addition to giving you access to the fast lane at customs for international travel, it guarantees TSA Pre status on domestic flights.) Global Entry requires paperwork and an appointment and a visit to EWR for fingerprinting, but the appointments are easier to come by than the Real ID ones. 

My understanding is that the TSA Precheck card ($85 for five years) is not acceptable as a Real ID.

Here are images of compliant forms of ID.


here's a twitter thread of Real ID atrocities.  What are we doing to ourselves?


ml1 said:

BG9 said:

ml1 said:

Seems like it's easier to get a passport. 

It is. I got Real Id. Its more time consuming than getting a passport. It took tedious 20 minutes for them to process my application. 

The NJ system for required documents is a joke. A passport or passport card is real id compliant. One should be able to get their NJ Drivers Real Id based on that. Instead, besides my passport, I had to submit numerous other documents.

it's a federal requirement that a person needs to present more than just a valid real id like a passport in order to get a real id driver's license.  From the DHS website

Q: How do I get a REAL ID?
Visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency website to find out exactly what documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID. At a minimum, you must provide documentation showing: 1) Full Legal Name; 2) Date of Birth; 3) Social Security Number; 4) Two Proofs of Address of Principal Residence; and 5) Lawful Status.

A real ID like a passport will not check boxes 3 and 4.

I know that.

But as I said, considering a passport is Real Id compliant, its bureaucratic to require all that additional documentation. You already have a Real Id. It should just be a matter of applying that Real ID to the drivers state license or id. I can see that value of re-verifying the address.

Also, for Real Id renewal, DHS does not require the resubmit of the primary ID documents. But NJ's Real Id selection PDF doesn't mention that.


So is  "Real ID" just the long dreaded national ID card by another name?


drummerboy said:

here's a twitter thread of Real ID atrocities.  What are we doing to ourselves?

 One of this issue she had was that her name was spelled differently on her social security card.  My husband’s social security card used to have just his middle and last name since he doesn’t go by his legal first name.  Why his parents filled out the application for what is basically a legal document this way is anyone’s guess.  So when we first were dating his social security card and birth certificate did not match.  I made him go to the local social security office and correct that.  After 2001 I knew that having documentation was going to be extremely important.  Today with all the crazy amounts of ID needed almost everywhere my husband still thanks me for making him take care of that.


Klinker said:

So is  "Real ID" just the long dreaded national ID card by another name?

There may be a slippery slope of "encouraging" Real Id.

The Social Security number was originally not to be used for id, only for maintaining your social security account. Now its needed for just about any financial account.

EZ Pass was started as a convenience. Now you're encouraged to have it because some highway exits are EZ Pass only and now some tolls are cashless where you are billed if you don't have it.

Many corporate office buildings require id's to enter. Entering may be made more onerous for those who don't have Real Id. Police agencies may require those who are issued a summons to go to the station for additional id verification.

DHS initiated a Data Exchange System to provide Federal and State data exchange system for Real Id. Stakeholders are DHS, Soc Sec, State Dept, DOT and AAMVA. The ID's differ by state but the data is nationally consistent. It is a national data system, but voluntary.


BG9 said:

There may be a slippery slope of "encouraging" Real Id.

The Social Security number was originally not to be used for id, only for maintaining your social security account. Now its needed for just about any financial account.

EZ Pass was started as a convenience. Now you're encouraged to have it because some highway exits are EZ Pass only and now some tolls are cashless where you are billed if you don't have it.

Many corporate office buildings require id's to enter. Entering may be made more onerous for those who don't have Real Id. Police agencies may require those who are issued a summons to go to the station for additional id verification.

DHS initiated a Data Exchange System to provide Federal and State data exchange system for Real Id. Stakeholders are DHS, Soc Sec, State Dept, DOT and AAMVA. The ID's differ by state but the data is nationally consistent. It is a national data system, but voluntary.

 What about those who don't/no longer drive and therefore may never have had a driver license or may have let their driver license lapse and who never travel to areas requiring a passport and therefore have never applied for a passport/passport card?   What will they be able to use as an alternative to a real ID?  This is especially a problem for our Senior community who have lived for most of their life in a world where such ID was never needed.  


joan_crystal said: is a national data system, but voluntary.

 What about those who don't/no longer drive and therefore may never have had a driver license or may have let their driver license lapse and who never travel to areas requiring a passport and therefore have never applied for a passport/passport card?   What will they be able to use as an alternative to a real ID?  This is especially a problem for our Senior community who have lived for most of their life in a world where such ID was never needed.  

You should always have some government ID. Its useful such as when stopped by authorities. That is why all states issue non-driver Id's.

REAL ID allows compliant states to issue driver's licenses and identification cards where the identity of the applicant cannot be assured or for whom lawful presence is not determined.

https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-frequently-asked-questions

You can schedule an appointment with NJ MVC to get a non-driver Real Id card or just show up to get the non-driver ID card that is not Real Id. To get a Real Id, the driver license or the non-driver id, you must have an appointment with MVC.

New Jersey residents 14 years of age and older may apply for a non-driver photo identification (ID). The non-driver ID is issued solely for the purpose of providing identification and is not a license to drive.

https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/license/nondriverid.htm


"Its useful such as when stopped by authorities"

This is a depressing thread.


BG9 said:

https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/license/nondriverid.htm

Problem is that too many of our seniors lack or can no longer find the documentation required to obtain one of these forms of ID.  It may be difficult/impossible for them to obtain official copies of 80 - 90 year old documents. Issuing governments/organizations may no longer have records that old for a variety of reasons.


What Joan says is very true. My wife’s uncle needs to get a passport but does not have a copy of his birth certificate. He lives in Florida but was born in LA. The LA county register requires that applications for duplicate birth certificates be made in person. 


Klinker said:

What Joan says is very true. My wife’s uncle needs to get a passport but does not have a copy of his birth certificate. He lives in Florida but was born in LA. The LA county register requires that applications for duplicate birth certificates be made in person. 

 https://www.lavote.net/home/records/birth-records/birth-records-request/mail-request


joan_crystal said:

BG9 said:

https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/license/nondriverid.htm

Problem is that too many of our seniors lack or can no longer find the documentation required to obtain one of these forms of ID.  It may be difficult/impossible for them to obtain official copies of 80 - 90 year old documents. Issuing governments/organizations may no longer have records that old for a variety of reasons.

I realize that. I know someone who had issues. Who then would have known this would come up?

A reason we got Real Id's is so we can keep our primary documents (passports) safely stored when traveling in the U.S. When our son was born I ordered four originals of his birth certificate. He loses one, he can then use another. His place burns down, its OK, I have one here.

We denigrated the Soviet Union on their "show me you papers" culture. Sadly, we're slipping in that direction.


You don’t need your original birth certificate.  In fact, many times they are no longer accepted because they are the older short forms and now the longer forms are the standard.  Getting a certified copy is not a huge deal.  I don’t think I have ever even seen my original.  I have a certified duplicate from the 80’s, and a newer certified copy that I got when they switched to the long form. 


Klinker said:

What Joan says is very true. My wife’s uncle needs to get a passport but does not have a copy of his birth certificate. He lives in Florida but was born in LA. The LA county register requires that applications for duplicate birth certificates be made in person. 

 There are other forms of identification that may be acceptable to establish date and place of birth if birth certificate cannot be obtained.  They may be just as difficult or harder to obtain.  Your wife's uncle can look into getting baptismal certificate (if baptized), early school records, church records (if birth was recorded by the church), census tract closest to date of birth, etc.  Those who have the hardest time are persons born in other countries, especially those born in countries which no longer exist and/or have been devastated by war or natural disaster.

  


LA County allows you to get a certified copy of your birth certificate in person, through regular US mail, or through a third party website.  You just cannot get it over the phone.  No need to jump through hoops to try to hunt down alternative forms of ID to establish a date of birth that most, if not all, government agencies won’t accept.


drummerboy said:

If you have a passport, you don't need to deal with this Real ID crap, do you?

 No



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