More than 100,000 REAL IDs issued in NC

Chris Keane | Reuters
An election worker checks a voter's driver’s license.

RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles announced this week that it has issued more than 100,000 REAL IDs since May. The N.C. REAL ID is a new form of identification that meets new federal security requirements for boarding a commercial airplane or visiting a military base or other federal facility.

“We are glad North Carolinians are getting ahead of the deadline,” DMV Commissioner Torre J. Jessup said. “Traveling by air will be much easier with a REAL ID when the Transportation Security Administration begins enforcing tougher identification requirements at the airport on Oct. 1, 2020.”

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in an effort to set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and to battle production of fraudulent identification. Starting in 2020, airline travelers will have to provide additional identification, like a passport, to board a commercial flight and visit federal facilities.

According to the DMV, the N.C. REAL ID is just like a traditional North Carolina license or ID, but has a gold star endorsement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the top. The federal REAL ID Act established the requirements of the program. Standard licenses and ID cards are now marked “Not for Federal Identification.”

N.C. DMV officials say residents should obtain a REAL ID when renewing their driver’s license or ID card well in advance of their next flight. To obtain their first REAL ID, residents must bring documents to a local driver’s license office to verify their birthdate, Social Security number and legal residency.