With the deadline for getting a Real ID just months away, the Department of Motor Vehicles is hosting town halls at four of their offices to help folks with the process.
People who don’t have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license by Oct. 1 will be barred from commercial air travel and not allowed in federal facilities including courthouses, military bases and other secure installations.
DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said town hall meetings will be held Feb. 26. The Carson City and Elko town halls will run from 5-7 p.m. The Reno and Las Vegas meetings will be from 6-8 p.m.
To get a Real ID license, people must show proof of their identity such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization papers, a permanent non-citizen resident card, an employment authorization document or I-94 proof of legal visitor status.
They will also need their Social Security number and proof of residency such as a utility bill.
That doesn’t sound too complicated, Malone said, since people have to present those same documents to get a license in the first place. Some people may already have the Real ID license and just don’t know it.
The Real ID license has a small star inside a gold circle in the upper right-hand corner of the license.
He said the people having the biggest problem with the process are women who changed their name when they got married — especially those who married and changed last name more than once. They will need to get documentation for each name change back to the original last name on their birth certificate.
But Malone said there is one way around that: “If she has a passport in her current legal name, that’ll work. She doesn’t need to prove all the name changes.”
He said DMV has been dealing with the married name change issue since the law was passed.
Malone said DMV has set up a website (https://getrealnevada.com) for those who need more information about the documents they need. For more complete information, Malone said people should go to https://dmvnv.com/realid.
He added that people who attend one of the town hall meetings are invited to bring their documentation with them for review.
“If the documents are complete, we will give them a ‘Boarding Pass’ for expedited service when they are ready to complete the transaction,” he said.
DMV Director Julie Butler urged people to make an appointment and show up earlier rather than later because DMV doesn’t have the staff or facilities to handle it if a huge percentage of the estimated 865,000 without Real ID show up in the final month before that October deadline.
The U.S. Travel Association issued a press release in November saying that more than half of Americans are completely unaware of that deadline. Association CEO Roger Dow said he too said he is concerned about the potential crunch at state DMV offices as the deadline approaches.
A Real ID is not required for people to register to vote, apply for federal benefits or accessing services such as hospitals or law enforcement.