Why States Need To Become Compliant With The Real ID Act of 2005
AKA Your Drivers Licence Ain’t Gonna Fly No More From Certain States
In elementary school I was taught a awesome little song that helped me memorize all the states in alphabetical order. The song was sort of like the precursor to some of the Animaniacs songs I heard later on to help with presidents and the periodic table. To this day, I use the state song as a bar trick. However, what work anymore in bars and other places is my drivers license; simply because of the beloved state I call home.
Articles, posters and flyers have been circulating in the past few years educating people that if you possess a driver’s license from specific states, the licences will no longer be accepted as proof of identification. This sucks. Like royally. People are complaining and whining like a five year old. All they need to do is throw themselves on the floor kicking and crying and it will be a repeat performance of my youngest kid yesterday morning.
However, I Think this might be because they may not fully understand the reasoning behind the change. I personally experienced one reason why the government is saying “poo poo” to license’s from currently 24 states that are under review and still non compliant, however, working on the process. The big worry is if the state isn’t compliant with the law by next year and haven’t filed an extension, residents of certain states will be forced to show additional identification besides a driver’s licence.
Here is my experience- As a military wife, we have lived in 3 states in the past 10 years. During those past 10 years my licence expired once, and will again next year. Issue for me was, I wasn’t currently living in my home state on record; Missouri. I was living in Alabama. I was stubborn and determined to keep the last little piece of midwest girl I had.
So I did what any millennial would do; I googled the solution. Turns out it was insanely simple to renew my licence out of state. The renewal process was so simple I thought it was a lie. I called the licence bureau for Missouri and asked what I needed to do to renew my licence since I was a military spouse living out of state. She confirmed it was a simple as it sounded. Therefore, after mailing in a $20 check and emailing a copy of my military identification card; I had my new six year Missouri license within a week with my 21 year old self still on my licence. Currently, that photo is over 10 years old now.
See the problem here? I could have emailed a copy of anyone’s military ID (or a fake one) that resembled me and gained access to a legit and legal Missouri driver’s licence. Not having to renew in person and provide original copies of documents, could lead to unimaginable amount of legal driver’s licences in the hand of underage individuals, criminals and more.
However, Missouri (and I am sure other states) understands the stress military families face on a day to day basis, so they chose to make licence renewal as simple as possible. Despite their genuine intentions of helping the military; it has now caused issues for Missouri residents who do not have another form of identification; like my parents.
As a dependent of a service member I am issued my own military ID. This ID allows me access to base, health insurance and more. Furthermore, since my ID is government issued, I have an acceptable ID for base access and the new domestic flight rule that is coming in 2018. Nonetheless, all this hassle for the non-military population of the currently non-compliant states is all because of the Real ID Act of 2005.
Bottom line- If you have a military ID you can use this in place of your driver’s licence. If you do not, then they suggest you start applying for a passport now. The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) lists 15 alternative forms of identification they will currently accept here.