Nevada Legislature: Feds cut Nevada some slack on Real ID

CARSON CITY " The federal government has agreed to cut people some slack in when they have to provide birth and citizenship information to get a Real ID drivers' license.

A joint subcommittee of Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means was told Tuesday Nevadans who won't reach age 50 until December 2014 don't have to meet the requirements until that date. Those aged over 50 at that point will be given until December 2017 to present their documentation.

A Real ID compliant drivers' license, passport or military ID will eventually be required under that federal act to enter any federal building or fly on any airline.

When the act was first passed, states became concerned because it looked as though every Nevada license holder would have to show up at DMV within a year or so and prove their identity " forcing the agency to handle more than two million license renewals in a year. Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Tom Jacobs said nearly every state fought that, arguing it would cost millions and create a huge bureaucratic burden as well as public outrage.

He said the changes now spread that load out over a much longer period, greatly reducing the added staff DMV will need to accomplish the program.

In order to get a Real ID license, Jacobs said everyone must present documentation proving who they are and that they are legally entitled to be in the United States.

He said sample documents include such things as a birth certificate or passport, a Social Security card, military ID and something which proves where a person lives such as a utility bill.

Debbie Wilson of DMV told lawmakers Nevada is in pretty good shape for meeting the state's requirements to implement Real ID. She said not only drivers licenses but ID cards for non-drivers will be issued under the plan.

For those who don't want to go through the process for whatever reason, she said the state still will issue regular drivers licenses. But those won't allow the holder to get on an airliner or enter a federal building. Those individuals, she said, can still fly if they have a passport.

Jacobs told lawmakers his office is planning an extensive media campaign to get the word about the requirements out to Nevadans. He said that will include a letter to every license and ID card holder in the state.

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said that effort will be critical because lawmakers already are getting calls from people worried about what the Real ID law will do to them.

Wilson also said Nevada is in line for another round of federal grants to help pay for the program. She said the application will be in the mail within a few days.

- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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