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DPS to begin issuing REAL ID next week, available in Ardmore by end of October

Sierra Rains
The Daily Ardmoreite
An example of a REAL ID compliant driver's license from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety's website. DPS is set to begin issuing REAL ID compliant licenses next week.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is on target to begin issuing REAL ID compliant licenses to the public on July 1, with issuance beginning by the end of October at the Ardmore DPS location. 

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the main purpose of REAL ID is to make identifying documents more consistent and secure. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government set standards for the issuance of sources of identification. 

This includes things such as driver’s licenses. The act prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards for certain purposes from states not meeting the act’s minimum security standards for license issuance. 

The federal deadline for state compliance was originally set to October 1 of 2020 but has been moved back to October 1 of 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Oklahomans will be able to continue using their regular driver’s license to board airplanes or enter federal facilities until October of next year. However, DPS has already issued approximately 265 REAL IDs as of June 16 as a part of the pilot production phase. 

Individuals in Oklahoma City will be able to receive a REAL ID beginning on July 1 of 2020. Issuance will then spread to other DPS locations and tag agencies in Edmond and Tulsa and is expected to be statewide by the end of October. 

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has created a website to help Oklahomans better understand how and why to get a REAL ID. The website, https://www.realid.ok.gov, will also be updated with available locations for individuals to be issued a REAL ID. 

According to the DPS website, individuals are not required to have a REAL ID compliant license or identification card. The most common example of someone who will want to get a REAL ID is someone who flies domestically and does not have a passport. 

Individuals who choose to not get the REAL ID compliant license will have to have alternative forms of ID to board a domestic flight. DPS recommends that those who already have a passport wait to get a REAL ID compliant license until their current license expires. 

A REAL ID compliant license or identification card will also be required to access federal facilities or military bases. Individuals will not, however, need a REAL ID compliant license to drive, vote, apply for or receive federal benefits, enter a federal facility that does not require an ID such as a post office or access a hospital. 

The only physical difference from a non-compliant license is a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of the license, indicating that it is REAL ID compliant. 

Those who are still unsure on whether they need a REAL ID or not can take a quiz to determine the necessity at the DPS website, www.realid.ok.gov. In order to obtain a REAL ID, individuals will need to have several documents ready. 

According to the DPS website, individuals must have proof of identity or lawful presence in the United States, proof of social security and two proofs of residency. A full list of acceptable documents can be found on the DPS website. 

A non-commercial REAL ID compliant driver’s license will cost $42.50 for those getting an Oklahoma driver’s license for the first time or transferring an out-of-state license. Those renewing their license will be charged $38.50 to make the license REAL ID compliant. 

A REAL ID compliant identification card is also offered at $25 but does not serve as a driver’s license. Individuals will be given a temporary paper identification during their visit to get a REAL ID and will receive their official REAL ID in the mail within five to seven business days. 

For more information visit realid.ok.gov or the DPS main website at ok.gov/dps.