OKC VeloCity | This time, the REAL ID deadline is real

This time, the REAL ID deadline is real

By Nate Fisher / Lifestyle / March 4, 2020

Update 3-27-20: In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, the Department of Homeland Security announced the deadline for REAL ID-compliant identification to fly will be pushed back to October 1, 2021. We will update this space as info becomes available on physical sites to get a REAL ID-compliant license in Oklahoma.


If you don't have a passport or a DoD ID card, you may need to get a new REAL ID-compliant Oklahoma driver license in order to get on a plane next fall.

After Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in response to a 9/11 commission recommendation, states that issued identification cards and driver's licenses that were not subject to a set of "minimum security standards" set by the act have been given a set of extensions so that people using those IDs to gain access to commercial airplanes and Federal facilities did not have to utilize another method of identification that was compliant with the act-- things like a passport or U.S. Department of Defense ID, for example. However, after a long series of extensions, things are about to get real when it comes to getting a REAL ID. That's right, if you want to fly (among other things) using your Oklahoma driver's license to prove your identity at the airport, after Oct. 1, 2021, you'll need to have a new REAL ID-compliant license.

So, what does that mean for you? If you don't have a valid, current U.S. or foreign-issued passport, Department of Defense ID or permanent resident card, you'll need to get a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID card before heading to the airport after Oct. 1, 2021. Oklahoma will begin issuing REAL IDs on April 30, 2020 at select locations (editor's note: stay tuned on verification of this in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic), so that gives you about a year and five months to get squared away.

What do you need to provide? Well, gone are the days of waltzing into a tag agency with your old license, $38.50 and your best attempt at a non-awkward photo (which naturally comes out looking extra awkward for most of us, alas). You'll need to bring one item from each of three categories: 1) proof of identity/lawful presence in the U.S., 2) proof of your Social Security number, and 3) two proofs of your current Oklahoma address. The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has put together this checklist to help you gather all you need to apply. Some of these items may not be as handy as others, so plan ahead!

So, where will you go to get a REAL ID-compliant Oklahoma license if not the tag agency? You will need to visit "select locations" DPS will set up to handle applications. Watch this space for those announcements as we move closer to Oct. 1, and start gathering those proofs of identity, Social Security number and residence! 

For more info, visit www.realid.ok.gov.

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