Countdown on for WV residents to get Real ID

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HUNTINGTON — Missy Sims left the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles office in Huntington on Thursday afternoon a little frustrated because she didn’t have all the documents necessary to get a Real ID.

“I saw reports that you have to have one by next year if you want to fly on an airplane, but I didn’t have all the documents I needed, so I will have to come back another day,” Sims said.

West Virginia residents will soon need a gold star on their driver’s license or state-issued identification cards if they want to board an airplane or access secure federal facilities — including military bases and some federal offices — according to the Transportation Security Administration. It will be required starting Oct. 1, 2020.

“The gold star indicates that the driver’s license is Real ID-compliant. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you will need another form of approved identification to board the flight or enter a secure federal facility,” according to a news release from the TSA. “West Virginia’s Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards have a small gold star in the upper right corner to indicate that it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.”

However, to get the Real ID-compliant license, individuals will need to go to their local West Virginia DMV in person and bring certain documents to prove U.S. citizenship and West Virginia residency.

Required documents include one proof of identity, proof of Social Security number, proof of legal name change, two proofs of West Virginia residency and a current driver’s license if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state.

“I didn’t know I needed my marriage certificate or divorce papers,” Sims said.

Daniel Roseberry, of Dunlow in Wayne County, was also at the Huntington DMV on Thursday afternoon and was trying to get his driver’s license.

“I don’t really fly on airplanes and I don’t plan to either, but I still want to get one because I heard you need them to get into federal buildings,” he said. “I didn’t know I needed all these types of documents to do it.”

Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson in the Office of Public Affairs of the Transportation Security Administration, said after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government passed a federal law, the Real ID Act of 2005, that mandates that a Real ID is needed for federal purposes.

“Real ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification,” she said. “States have had since 2005 to get this done.”

Farbstein said West Virginia residents have the option to upgrade to a Real ID-compliant license or stick with a standard driver’s license. There is a $10 Real ID surcharge in addition to standard fees to get the new license, she said.

“A standard credential without the gold star will not be valid to board a flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices,” Farbstein said.

Farbstein said TSA officers who staff the ticket document-checking station at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a Real ID-compliant license or another form of acceptable ID after the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline.

TSA has posted new signs at airports nationwide to remind people that Real ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID — such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID — will be mandatory for air travel beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

“Critically important, on Oct. 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly,” she said.

TSA officers will provide verbal advisements to passengers to remind them about Real ID, Farbstein added.

For more information and details about how to obtain a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card in West Virginia, visit the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles website at transportation.wv.gov/dmv/Pages/default.aspx.

A full list of documents needed in West Virginia to get a Real ID can be found online at trans portation.wv.gov/DMV/DMVFormSearch/Drivers_Licenses_REAL_ID_cards_brochure.pdf.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

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