Reader asks about REAL ID driver’s license requirements


Answer Man: When you renew a Missouri driver’s license, why do you have to show your Social Security card and birth certificate again? Both are scanned – again! I could understand the verification of my address. But my birth certificate and social security card haven’t changed and are already in the system. It looks like this process could / should be streamlined to only require address information and my driver’s license. – Sara Jean Peters, Collins

When I got this email in July, the first thing I wondered was: where the hell is Collins?

Well, it’s 53 miles north of Springfield along Highway 13 in St. Clair County.

Sara looked dumbfounded that I hadn’t heard of her hometown.

“Haven’t you heard of Smith’s Restaurant?” The house of the giant net? Oh, poor man!

Now I know.

Let’s move on to his question.

I contacted Michelle Hirschman, spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Revenue, which oversees the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles.

She began her response by talking about REAL ID. Apparently, an understanding of REAL ID is crucial to getting a response from Sara. This is also crucial, I learned from reporting this story, if you plan to fly on an airplane from October 1, 2021 and beyond.

Maybe I already knew what REAL ID was – like I once knew how to conjugate Spanish verbs.

I remember once here at News-Leader where Will Schmitt was our reporter from Jefferson City and he wrote a lot on REAL ID. I wish I had been more careful.

One of Will’s stories took place on October 9, 2017.

It indicates that Missouri in 2017 was one of a handful of states resistant to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which Congress passed after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

On the website of the Ministère du Revenu:

“The REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identity cards, and prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and identity cards for official purposes. States that do not respect these standards. Missouri has fully implemented its REAL ID program. in 2019. “

Let’s review: Federal law was passed in 2005, and Missouri was fully implemented in 2019.

I’m writing this on Friday November 6, 2020, and I can only hope that it won’t take that long to find out who our next president is.

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I decided to check my own license

Missouri has been slow to comply because officials including former Governor Eric Greitens had privacy concerns about the state with scanned copies of birth certificates and Social Security cards.

Why is REAL ID necessary for you and me? Here’s why (from the Federal Transportation Safety Administration): “As of October 1, 2021, every air traveler aged 18 and over will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver or other acceptable ID. fly within the United States.

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At this point, I have to admit, I pulled out my driver’s license to take a look.

I do not have a REAL ID compatible license, because if I did, there would be a star in the upper right corner. My license expires in July 2021; I absolutely have to take care of it when I come in to renew it.

If your driver's license does not have a star in the upper right corner, it does not comply with the state's REAL ID law.

The purpose of the federal law was to make it more difficult for terrorists to obtain documents like driver’s licenses that can be used to conceal their true identity.

Hirschman, the spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Revenue, tells me that until March 2019, the state did not scan and keep birth certificates and Social Security numbers. You had to show them to verify legal presence in the United States and proof of residency.

Hirschman tells me that having a REAL ID is optional.

“If an applicant does not want a REAL ID license and their birth certificate and social security card have been verified beforehand, they will not need to bring them back at the time of renewal.”

But, again, if you don’t have one, you won’t be able to fly to the United States.

In addition, you do not need a REAL ID if you hold another piece of identification that meets federal requirements, such as a US passport or a valid passport card.

If you look at Sara’s question, you see that she said she had already scanned these documents in 2019 when, she says, she obtained her REAL ID compliant license.

His question and the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles response did not match.

That’s when I called Sara and she put me right on Smith’s Restaurant, as well as her experience with REAL ID.

Here is what happened.

Sara visited the DMV office in 2019. She did go even though her license wouldn’t expire until July 2020. She went early because she flies a lot and wanted to avoid potential problems or hassles because she doesn’t. had no license conforming to REAL ID. .

So, in 2019, she brought her birth certificate, her social security card and a utility bill for proof of residence. They were scanned at the time, she says. Her license became REAL ID compliant in 2019, but she was unable to renew it at the same time.

She went to the licensing office to renew what she says is her REAL ID-compliant license in July 2020.

That’s when she went to the Osceola office and the clerk checked her computer and determined that for some reason Sara had to submit those same documents again for scanning. She had them on hand.

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Sara believes that it is possible that she was the first person in this licensing office to renew a license that was already TRUE ID compliant.

His license was – again – considered REAL ID compliant.

Matt Connor, another spokesperson for the Revenue Department, said on Friday that it looks like Sara didn’t really get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in 2019. Otherwise, he says, it is would not have asked him for the documents. scanned.

At this point, I’m just going to say: I don’t know what happened.

But at the end of the day, it is for a good cause to try to thwart terrorism.

Keep these questions coming. Send them to The Answer Man at 417-836-1253, [email protected], on Twitter @stevepokinNL or by mail at 651 Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65806.


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