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Real ID-compliant licenses now available in Missouri

March 25, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Revenue on Monday began offering Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and non-driver identification, which will be required under federal law to board planes and enter some federally controlled buildings starting next year.

Here are details about what that means in Missouri, one of the last states to comply with the law.

WHAT IS “REAL ID”?

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks after the FBI determined the hijackers had obtained valid identification cards from various states. A special commission recommended that the federal government develop standards for issuing identification cards as a way to help prevent terrorism and fraud.

The federal law sets minimum guidelines for government-issued identification, including security enhancements and proof that recipients are legally in the United States.

Missouri was one of the last states to move toward compliance, partly because of privacy concerns over requirements to create a database containing applicants’ personal information, such as their birth certificates.

Former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed a measure in 2009 that prohibited the state from complying with the federal law. Lawmakers were finally persuaded to undo that law in 2017, allowing the state Department of Revenue to begin offering compliant licenses.

WHERE IS REAL ID REQUIRED?

Missouri’s 2017 law gives residents the option to request a compliant or non-compliant ID, a policy meant to accommodate Missouri residents who have concerns about Real ID.

However, compliant IDs will be required to board planes, nuclear sites and federal facilities, including military bases and some federal courthouses. Passports and some other forms of federally issued identification also qualify, but those require similar personal information and documents.

WHEN DO REAL ID REQUIREMENTS TAKE EFFECT?

Compliant identification will be required for domestic flights across the U.S. beginning in October 2020. Until then, current state-issued licenses will work because the federal government granted Missouri and about a dozen other states extensions to comply with the law.

Missouri’s Department of Revenue expects a rush of applicants beginning Monday, so some officials have recommended waiting to apply.

“There’s no immediate need to rush to apply for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card because the current Missouri-issued license and ID card will afford the same access until October 2020,” said Joey Plaggenberg, director of the Missouri Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division, in a statement.

“Basically, if your license or ID card is not expiring within the next month or so, we strongly suggest waiting to apply until this initial rush has subsided,” Plaggenberg said.

HOW MUCH DO THE NEW ID CARDS COST?

Compliant and standard Missouri IDs cost the same amount, which varies depending on how long the ID is valid and the type of license. Non-commercial, three-year driver’s licenses cost $10 and licenses valid for six years cost $20. Non-driver’s IDs are $11 or free for voting purposes.

WHAT INFORMATION IS REQUIRED FOR REAL ID?

Real ID licenses require proof of identity, lawful status in the U.S., Social Security numbers and state residency. Records that qualify include birth certificates, Social Security cards, pay stubs, utility bills and education transcripts.

Other records might be necessary, especially if names listed on identification and birth documents are different. For example, that might apply to women who change their last name after marriage.