Supplement to Article “You Need to Get Your REAL ID by 10/1/2020” in 10.24.19 Newsletter
The Attacks on September 11, 2001 (9/11)
“Where were you on the day…” often refers to those select few events in American history that were so significant as to change our beliefs and the very way we live. For example, the assassination of JFK or the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and more recently 9/11.
On the morning of 9/11/2001, my husband and I just dropped our son to his first day of preschool when we couldn’t believe what we were seeing on tv…. images of airplanes crashing into buildings. The only thoughts that was racing through my mind was, “This can’t be real. This must be a joke! Oh, my god!”
For our generation, the series of attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by followers of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda was a watershed moment that became our “Where were you on the day….”.
Crashing four hijacked US commercial airplanes fully loaded with fuel and bound for west coast destinations, a total of 19 men in separate locations coordinated one of the most cataclysmic events in history that caused nearly 3,000 lives loss and countless families without fathers, husbands, wives, mothers. The World Trade Center along with several adjacent buildings in New York collapsed into sand. The Pentagon in Shanksville, Pennsylvania with top secret documents was damaged. Daily life as we knew it, especially air travel, changed dramatically after 9/11. No longer were fliers able to easily go in and out of airports. Instead, waiting in long lines for advance screening machines and TSA screeners have become the norm.
How to Get a Real ID
The most important thing that you must know is that the you must get a REAL ID by October 1, 2020. In California, you must go to the DMV in person and present certain documents showing your identity. Warning: It takes about a couple of months to get an appointment in major California cities! In order to process all 27 million drivers, the DMV says it is hiring 2,000 additional front-line workers in its 172 field offices and keeping some offices open longer, including Saturdays. For some states like Oklahoma and Oregon who won’t be able to start issuing REAL IDS until mid-2020, it will be a mad scramble to get REAL IDS.
What Happens if You Do Not Get a Real ID by 10/1/2020
After 10/1/20, you must present a REAL ID when traveling or entering Federal buildings. Your drivers’ license will no longer be accepted as proof of your identity. If you do not have a REAL ID and you’re at the airport, you will need to show your passport. If you don’t have a passport, Military ID, enhanced DL (one with limited passport information), or other approved ID, you will be subject to a secondary screening, which is essentially an interview to verify your identity.
Worst, you may miss your flight if there are many travelers waiting to be interviewed. TSA has said that there will be limited capacity to do secondary screening at checkpoints. Ok, so how do you know whether you have a REAL ID? Simple, just check the top right corner of your Driver’s’ License and look for a “star”.