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Volume 18, Issue 2
February 2020


What’s Real ID, and do you need it?

If you’re planning to board a plane after October 1 this year, you’ll either need a valid passport, a passport card, or a Real ID compliant Oregon drivers’ license.

passport card
A Passport Card may be your best option for travel this year.

In an effort to tighten airport security post-9/11, Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005. In response, three years later Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that prohibited the state from enforcing the act unless the federal government paid for it. That state law was finally repealed in 2017, and federal waivers exempting Oregonians from needing Real IDs for commercial air travel expire October 1, 2020.

However, starting in 2017, the DMV was beginning to upgrade its computer system from one that had been in place since the '60s. The agency must now wait for the upgrade to be completed in order to issue Real IDs.

If the computer system upgrade goes as planned, Oregon DMV will begin offering a Real ID option on July 6, 2020. To fulfill the demand of nearly one million Oregonians who will want the Real ID option, DMV would have to issue 32 licenses a minute every business day from July to October. That’s just not possible.

If you don’t have a Real ID compliant form of ID at the airport, TSA will put you through an alternate identity verification process that could take an hour or more, and you could miss your flight.

There is an answer for Oregonians: obtain and use a passport or passport card. The cost of getting a new passport card is roughly equal to that of getting a replacement license with the Real ID option – and you can apply now at one of over 76 acceptance sites across Oregon. Most full-service Post Offices offer the service.

If you’re going to try for a Real ID anyway, visit this page to learn the forms of identification you need to bring to DMV to prove your identity.


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Published monthly by Cedar Mill News LLC
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
3270 NW Kinsley Terrace
Portland, Oregon 97229
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