The compliance deadline for the REAL ID Act has been extended one year as a result of COVID-19.
The deadline has been extended to Oct.1, 2021, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Beginning Oct.1, 2021, only state-issued driver licenses and identification cards that are fully compliant with the REAL ID Act will be accepted for official federal government purposes, such as entering federal buildings or boarding domestic flights.
As a result, more documents are needed when acquiring an enhanced drivers license in Arkansas or Texas. Residents need their birth certificate Social Security card and other information on hand when renewing their drivers license.
The United States Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in response to the terrorist attacks on Sept.11, 2001. The REAL ID Act requires states to adopt and implement uniform standards for the issuance and production of state-issued driver licenses and identification cards if they are to be accepted as identity documents by the federal government. This act is intended to strengthens the integrity and security of state-issued cards in an effort to reduce identity fraud and terrorism.
Texas began issuing REAL ID compliant cards on October 10, 2016, and these cards are marked with a gold circle with an inset star located in the upper right-hand corner, as seen in the examples below, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Information needed includes the application of renewal form, proof of U.S. Citizenship, proof of identity including a drivers license or passport and proof of Social Security number.
Having the documents on hand minimizes any delays in renewing or replacing your driver license or
Arkansas has also been compliant since October 2016, says Scott Hardin, the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration's communications director.
Arkansas requires residents provide documentary proof of legal presence and identities with one primary document such as a passport or birth certificate and proof of residency via one secondary document, such as an out-of-state driver's license or a photo work ID, utility bill or phone bill and proof of Social Security number (two documents, such as a paycheck stub or a W-2 form).
There are only 25 Arkansas revenue offices that issues these licenses right now. Miller County's revenue office is one of the locations.
Texas and Arkansas residents can still obtain a normal license, but if someone wants to fly or enter a federal courthouse, they are going to have to start complementing it with something else such as a passport.
The cost is $40 for an eight-year license.