With Deadline A Year Away, Arkansas Officials Encourage Residents To Get Real ID
Arkansans have less than a year to get a Real ID that will comply with an Act passed by Congress in 2005. The enhanced identification will be required to board a flight or enter a federal facility on October 1, 2020. Congress passed the Real ID ACT in response to the 911 Commissions Report to improve security in both airports and federal buildings.
Citizens must provide proof of residency, legal presence and their Social Security Number to obtain the ID. They must bring a passport or birth certificate, two proofs of address documents, a Social Security card, and name change linking documents, if applicable, to the revenue office issuing Reals IDs.
"It requires each state to take several documents from individuals,” said Scott Hardin the communications director for the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. “All of this is to prove that these individuals are who they say they are."
Hardin says Congress gave states plenty of time to effectuate the Real ID. He said that Arkansas is one state that implemented these IDs well ahead of the deadline.
In October 2016, Arkansas began issuing the Real ID in revenue offices around the state. Since then, Hardin said 227,000 Real IDs have been issued.
"That is only about 10% of active licenses in the state,” Hardin said. “There is a much larger percentage of Arkansans that are traveling or may be in and out of a federal facility every day. They are going to have to have this license to operate in day-to-day life."
Hardin and the DFA encourages Arkansans to obtain the ID before the deadline. He said the worst-case scenario would be for a family having vacation plans ruined because they failed to obtain the Real ID.
The DFA created a website to prepare Arkansas residents for their visit to the revenue office. Arkansans can enter the documents they are bringing to ensure they have what they need to obtain the ID.
The cost for a Real ID is the same as an ordinary license. If Arkansans need a new driver’s license, they can obtain the Real ID to become their primary ID.
"This is not in addition to the license or in addition to an ID, this takes the place of that," Hardin said. "Once you obtain the Real ID in the from of a driver’s license, that is your primary ID. The old license is no longer valid."
According to a report issued by the DFA, the following Arkansas Revenue Offices are issuing the Real ID: Arkadelphia, Batesville, Bentonville, Conway, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Fort Smith, Greenwood, Harrison, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Little Rock, Monticello, Mountain Home, Paragould, Russellville, Searcy, Sherwood, Springdale, Texarkana, West Memphis and White Hall.
"I encourage Arkansans to visit www.ar.gov/Real ID,” Hardin said. “That will really get them started and simplify this process."
Visit the DFA's website to learn more about Real IDs: https://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/