Deadline for real ID approaches next year, about half of Ohioans have it

More and more Ohioans are getting real IDs on standard licenses. IDs are federally-compliant forms of identification and will soon be required for air travel.

So far, about 48% of drivers in Ohio have real IDs, which is about 4.2 million people. Many are making the switch after the Transportation Security Administration announced after May 3, 2023, standard driver’s licenses and ID cards will no longer be accepted for flying.

Copy of your license:Want a copy of your Ohio driver’s license? No need to go to the BMV anymore

In order to obtain proper identification, Ohioans must visit an Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in person and provide documentation showing the following:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of Birth
  • Legal presence in the United States
  • Social Security number
  • Ohio civic address – two documents from two different sources proving Ohio civic addresses are required for proof of residency.
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)

Why an Ohio official recommends using the BMV website

Ohio Registra Charlie Norman recommends going to the BMV website before visiting an office. The website has an interactive checklist that applicants can use to decide which documents to bring.

“We find that people who use this interactive checklist really have a better in-person experience,” Norman said. He said those using the site are better prepared.

Candidates can also use the BMV’s online posting system to queue and limit their time in the office.

Upon approval, applicants will receive an Ohio Provisional Identification Form that law enforcement can verify if necessary. The Real ID will be mailed in approximately seven to 10 business days.

Renew your license online:Renewing Your Driver’s License Just Got Easier: Ohio’s BMV Offers Online Application

Licenses cost applicants nothing more than standard credentials.

Due to the documentation requirements for federally compliant IDs, applicants cannot use BMV’s new online portal to apply for genuine ID. Instead, they must appear in person to present their documents.

But Norman said that after the first visit, Ohioans could use the online portal to renew their real credentials.

Real IDs almost 20 years in the making

The push for real IDs came after Congress passed a bill in 2005 requiring IDs that comply with federal law for regulated purposes like air travel. Originally, real IDs were recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

“It’s something that states have really incorporated since then,” Norman said. “And you know, we’ve finally gotten to a point where all 50 states now issue Real ID compliant driver’s licenses.”

The ID compliance deadline has been moved several times over the years, most recently due to the pandemic.

“I’m told — and I don’t know if it’s true or not — but Homeland Security tells us they won’t be pushing that deadline any further,” Norman said.

About Geraldine Higgins

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