Life

I’m Official: I Have My Real ID!

123RF

I now have a ‘Real ID’ instead of a mere South Carolina driver’s license. So next year, I won’t have a problem boarding a plane.

South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles has been warning people for some time now about Real ID.

It’s an upgrade to the standard state-issued driver’s license or state identification card. Beginning in October 2020, you won’t be able to board a plane, enter a secure federal building (like a courthouse) or visit a military base unless you have one.

The only main difference I see between the old driver’s license it took me more than an hour to replace and the new Real ID is a gold star.

Apparently, there’s a lot of meaning wrapped up in that little star.

To obtain a Real ID in South Carolina, you have to come prepared with several documents. I’m sure your state is no different.

You need your current driver’s license or state-issued ID, which the new card will replace.

You need your birth certificate.

You need an additional proof of your address — and, of course, it has to match the address on your old license or ID or else you must bring two documents to serve as proof of address.

And you need your social security card. This last one I’ve never understood. Your social security number is not supposed to be used for ID purposes. But government agencies continually break their own rule.

These documents are the same ones we all needed to get our state driver’s license to begin with, so it’s a little silly having to produce them again. Those of us who obtained a driver’s license in the past obviously were able to prove who we were then.

But apparently, this time around, the DMV actually makes a copy of those documents.

I guess that extra step is what earns them — and your license — a gold star.

I’m just not sure how this extra bureaucratic red tape makes anything or anyone safer.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.