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Real ID: What is it?

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Real ID:What is it? History? How does it affect me?

Attorneys can assist in preparing a Real ID application. Although the process is fairly simple, there are certain requirements that must be met. It is important that you know what these requirements are so that your application can be approved without any problems. In this article we explain what Real ID is, what the requirements are and why it is important to obtain it. Don’t miss it!

What is Real ID?

In line with the purpose of strengthening identity and security within the United States, the Real ID Act was enacted by the United States Congress (National Identification Statute) and signed by George W. Bush, President of the United States, as a secondary legislation to the establishment of the terrorism establishing Patriot Act Administration, which went into effect on October 21, 2005. The Real ID is a law in accordance with the considerations of Congress on the advancement of the national identification system, which requires the implementation in all identification documents issued by the United States in its territory and its citizens, including passports, driver’s licenses and other government documents.

Real ID proposes the creation and mandatory use of cards with the biometric traits (photograph, fingerprint or other additional information) of all Americans, the issuance of a single national ID for all persons residing in U.S. territory, whether citizens or not, and the prohibition of the use of documents not in accordance with Real ID for official purposes.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the Real ID Act, many states have begun issuing driver’s licenses and other identity documents that are not Real ID compliant. Secondary legislation was enacted in May 2008, giving states 18 months to adapt to the new regulations. However, the U.S. Congress extended that deadline to January 22, 2013 due to opposition from some states to comply with Real ID requirements.

Why do you need a REAL ID card?

As of January 22, 2013, all Americans who require an official document to travel abroad or enter a federal building will need a REAL ID card. This includes citizens and permanent residents, as well as persons not residing on U.S. soil.

You have more options for other types of documentation. For example, if you are trying to obtain a visa or permission to work in the U.S., it may be helpful to have a driver’s license to match. If you always travel by road, perhaps your driver’s license is your most commonly used ID for travel in the U.S., and if so you need REAL ID.

Who can get the REAL ID?

All U.S. citizens residing in U.S. territory, whether citizens or non-citizens.

What documents do you need to process the REAL ID?

To apply for REAL ID, you need:

  1. An official photo ID (such as a driver’s license).
  2. A document that proves your address (such as a utility bill or bank statement)
  3. Your name as it appears on your official ID
  4. Your date of birth
  5. Your signature

If you have any additional questions, call 1-800-253-7846.

How to apply for the new ID card?

You can apply for a REAL ID card online, in person or by phone. Here is how to do it in each of these cases.

Apply for REAL ID card online

  1. Visit www.dhs.gov/real-id and click on “Apply Online.”
  2. Sign up for a free user account if you have not already done so.
  3. Click on “Apply for a new ID card.”
  4. Select the state where your parents reside (if you are a minor) and whether you would like to receive your new ID card by mail or in-person delivery.
  5. Take advantage of the space to offer your comments and complete the remaining forms, which include a question about any prior criminal convictions you have had.
  6. Wait to receive your new REAL ID card in the mail or delivered in person.

Apply for a REAL ID card in person

  1. Visit the Department of Homeland Security website (www.dhs.gov/real-id) to find a service point near you and call to confirm that it is open.
  2. You must complete an application form in person and present at least two official identification documents, such as a driver’s license or passport.
  3. Pay the appropriate fee of about $30 to receive your REAL ID card for free (the Department of Homeland Security does not charge a federal fee).

Apply for Real ID but live out of state

Your locality will likely provide you with more information, call the Department of Homeland Security for information on how to obtain a REAL ID card if you live out of state: 1-800-253-7846.

The estimated processing time is 7-10 business days.

What happens after processing?

If you pass the exam, you will receive your new REAL ID card by mail or delivered in person. When it reaches you, you will be able to travel with it by air and show it as identification to government agencies.

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