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If you’re like most, a trip to your local motor vehicle agency (MVA) is about as enticing as a trip to the dentist. However, it will be inevitable for New Jersey residents who must obtain driver’s licenses that comply with Real ID, a set of standards set by Congress after the 9/11 terror attacks. The new standards will update security features on licenses and identification cards, specifically for people who tend to fly commercially.
What is Real ID?
In 2005, Congress passed a law that set standards for ID. Those standards include state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards which meet specific guidelines to create a more secure, less easily duplicated ID card.
While an official start date has not been set yet, the MVA is scheduled to start issuing Real ID licenses, similar to the one shown above this Spring.
When Do I Need To Get a Real ID?
Don’t rush out to the MVA just yet if you have a standard license. If you don’t need to get a Real ID license before your license expires there is no need for a special trip.
Currently, state issued driver’s licenses and ID cards remain valid for identification at airports and federal buildings until Oct. 10, 2019.
You may be able to delay the process as long as October 2020 if New Jersey applies for another extension next year to extend the deadline to the federally mandated date of October 2020.
What Happens if I You Don’t Comply
If you plan on air travel or entrance into a federal building, your options are limited. Licenses from states that don’t comply simply will not be accepted at airports. Therefore, if you plan to travel or gain access to federal buildings, be prepared to use another form of ID that meets the guidelines. A U.S. Passport or military ID, even for domestic air travel, will be your only alternative.
New Jersey will be able to apply for another extension next year, so it is possible, but not definite, that N.J. drivers will not need a Real ID for another two years, officials said.
The final federal deadline for all states to be in compliance is October 2020.
Obtaining a Real ID
Obtaining a Real ID will be much the same in that you need to complete the process at your local MVA , however expect some changes in the process.
For more information on the Real ID law and requirement to obtain one, visit Homeland Security online.
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