By Abrahm Hurt
INDIANAPOLIS — If you’re planning to fly in the U.S. after 2020, you might need to upgrade your driver’s license.
Earlier this year, the federal government mandated that as of October 2020, people will be required to have secure identification, called Real ID, to board commercial airplanes, travel on Amtrak trains and enter certain federal facilities.
“It’s a post 9/11 act to just really raise security and make sure the person who’s showing an ID really is the person that they say they are so that we end up not having a terrorist using someone else’s ID to do something horrible,” said Peter Lacy, commissioner for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Peter Lacy, commissioner for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles discuss the Real ID at the Indiana State Fair. Crouch upgraded her license to a Real ID that will be required to fly and enter certain government buildings after October 2020. Photo by Abrahm Hurt, TheStatehouseFile.com
To tell if you have a Real ID, you will have a star in the upper right hand corner of your driver’s license, permit or identification card. A United States passport is also a form of the more secure identification.
Lacy said getting a Real ID is more than just renewing your license. You will need to bring documents that prove your identity, lawful status, social security number and Indiana residency.
Not everyone, though, is required to get a Real ID.
“It’s a voluntary program,” Lacy said. “You don’t have to upgrade your ID to Real ID, you just won’t be able fly or go into a government installation after October of 2020 without having the star on your license.”
However, anyone obtaining a driver’s license for the first time or moving into the state is required to get a Real ID. Currently, only 25 percent of Hoosiers have a Real ID.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch visited the BMV booth at the State Fair’s Exposition Hall on Friday morning to encourage Hoosiers to upgrade to a Real ID.
“I’m Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development and I’m enjoying the food and I’m enjoying everything the fair has to offer, but I also want to stress to Hoosiers to take advantage of this opportunity,” she said. “Here is your state government, right here at the state fair, making it easy for you to get what you need to be able to fly in the future.”
Lacy said the BMV still has a lot of work to do to get the information out to Hoosiers. He said they are in the process of launching a marketing campaign for public awareness.
“We started with this logo — this idea — will your license fly?” he said. “The idea is that we’ll be hitting people through the mail, through online and through other mediums to get the message out that between now and 2020, you need a Real ID.”
To get more information about the Real ID or to see examples of required documents for getting one, visit REALID.IN.gov.
Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.