California Imposes New Federally Compliant REAL ID laws

Dorian Uson, Editor-n-Chief

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In October of 2020, it will be required by law that all Californians have a “REAL ID” drivers license or identification card. Starting January 22, the dmv has been issuing these new ID cards and will continue to do so until the two year grace period is over, and these new ID cards are required. The REAL ID federal compliant cards are apart of the Real ID Act, enacted in 2005, in hopes of increasing national security.

According to the DMV, the Real ID cards will be required for citizens hoping to fly domestically, or those who wish to enter federal property. The purpose of these ID Cards is to create an nationally consistent ID card to ensure security when travelling. “The revamped IDs will feature the word “California” in a new font up top, as well as images of golden poppies (the state’s flower), sailboats, an outline of the state through the background, and a Gold Rush miner to the card’s right side. Most importantly, these licenses will have new UV images, and some will contain a white REAL ID star inside a golden bear logo signifying a federally compliant license.” These new ID’s are a good idea in retrospect, but will cost citizens an extra $35 to obtain this new card.

As many people know, every five years it is required that you renew your license and pay the $35 fee. However, for those who just got their ID renewed right before January 22, they will have to pay an extra $35 for this new ID. The REAL ID is not required by law. Everyone does not need to rush out to the DMV and get a new ID. All it does, is simply replace the use of your passport. After October of 2020, those who do not have the REAL ID will have to carry a passport in order to be granted access to federal facilities and domestic flights. Passports cost anywhere from $30-$110, with the need for renewal every ten years. So in reality, if you are planning on travelling internationally a lot and already own a passport, getting a REAL ID is not necessary, however, if you do not already have a passport getting a REAL ID would be a smart idea because the cost is lower, and it’s more convenient. “If you have a valid U.S. passport or passport card, military ID or other federally approved identification, you may use this as your form of identification to pass a TSA checkpoint at airports nationwide and visit a secure federal building or military installations at any time. Make sure to check with the federal facility/military base before you visit to verify their identification requirements,” says the DMV website.

The REAL ID Act of 2005, which enacted the new issuance of the REAL ID states, “The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.” The Department of Homeland Security has planned four different phases to enforce the REAL ID. The different phases list where citizens without REAL ID will be granted access, but each phase ends, restricting access and requiring a REAL ID.

There are currently 31 different states that are compliant with the new REAL ID Laws, and the rest are currently taking action to catch up, California being one of them. The new REAL ID is a good idea for national security purposes. Despite the extra cost it may cause some people, it is a  convenient and consistent way to travel. The whole purpose of the REAL ID isfor congress to insure national security ,and this is one of the smartest ideas they’ve had because it’s convenient for citizens, it’s (in a way) being grandfathered in, and makes IDs nationwide consistent.

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