The REAL ID Act, was passed by Congress in 2005 after first being suggested by the 9/11 Commission. The law establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits some federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting minimum standards.
“If you would like to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a secure federal building or military installation, then you will need to get a real I.D by the October 1st, 2020 deadline,” said Julie Roy, Chief of Strategic Communications and Community Affairs for the SCDMV.
And like most things it is always better to get it sooner than later. Numbers from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles shows a tepid turnout with just seven months to go until the deadline. As of Jan. 8, 2020, 29% of Berkeley County residents have gotten a Real ID, Charleston County has 30% and Dorchester County has 29% with the new ID’s. For those who wait they may find themselves getting stuck in a late rush at the DMV.
“There is a way for people to check and see if they can get it online which would save them going to a branch office,” Roy said.
To get a Real ID residents must show government-issued birth certificate or unexpired US Passport and proof of a Social Security number.
Two proofs of a current physical address which can include a current unexpired South Carolina driver’s license or identification card and a, no more than 90-day-old, utility bill with the same name and address.
Residents will also have to show proof of all legal name changes.
Roy said the SCDMV may already have all the needed documentation to get the Real ID online. To find that out residents can visit SCDMVonline.com.
And with the Oct. 1, 2020 Real ID deadline being so close to the November elections, there is some confusion if not having one will be a problem come election day; that is not the case.
“Real ID is not related to voting at all, it’s not required. You still have to have the same photo I.D. requirements we’ve had since 2013,” said Adam Hammons, Director of the Berkeley County Election Commission and Voter Registration. “Whether it’s a real I.D. or just a regular South Carolina driver’s license does not affect your ability to vote or your voting rights or anything like that.”