More than a quarter million Arkansans have already obtained a REAL ID and the other 90 percent of active state license holders now have less than one year until a REAL ID will be required to board a flight or enter a federal facility.
Across the United States, the requirement begins Oct. 1, 2020, as a result of the REAL ID Act. Passed by Congress in 2005, it requires every state to issue this REAL ID-compliant license or ID.
More than 227,600 Arkansans have obtained a REAL ID, according to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA). It is about 10% of active licenses and IDs in the state.
In order to obtain a REAL ID, the federal government requires Arkansans confirm proof of residency, legal presence and identity and Social Security number through the following documentation: Passport or birth certificate; two proof of address documents such as utility bills or bank statements; Social Security card; name change linking documents, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order.
The DFA recently launched a website, www.ar.gov/REALID, allowing Arkansans to list the documentation that will be presented at the Revenue Office to obtain a REAL ID. The website confirms the documents meet all requirements or specifies which document is missing.
“Arkansas began issuing the REAL ID in October 2016, well in advance of the deadline issued by Congress,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a DFA news release. “While the ID has been available for years, we want to be certain Arkansans are aware it will be required to board a plane or enter a federal facility beginning Oct. 1, 2020. Prior to making the trip to the Revenue Office, I encourage Arkansans to visit www.ar.gov/REALID to learn about the requirements to obtain the ID.”
The cost to obtain a REAL ID does not differ from the cost to obtain or renew a license or ID. The REAL ID may be obtained any time as a replacement license or ID.
“With every service we provide, our goal at DFA is to simplify and streamline it in order to save Arkansans valuable time and effort,” DFA Secretary Larry Walther adds. “Although the federal government does require that we review a variety of documents in order to issue a REAL ID, we’ve eliminated any guesswork regarding these documents by offering www.ar.gov/REALID. Utilizing this website allows Arkansans to confidently make the trip to the Revenue Office to obtain the REAL ID, eliminating any need for a follow up visit due to missing documents.”
The Revenue Offices in Fort Smith (6515 Phoenix Ave.) and Greenwood (804 W Denver St. Suite B) are locations for obtaining the REAL ID.
“Most people have non-refundable tickets and other expensive elements to their trips,” said Sari Koshetz, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “Do not be the person who doesn’t make it onto the plane because you didn’t have the proper ID and be sure your Real ID-compliant ID does not expire before your return trip as well.”
Additional information on the REAL ID Act of 2005 may be found at www.dhs.gov/real-id.