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Officials offer reminder on switch to Real ID

LOS ANGELES — State and federal officials gathered at Los Angeles International Airport Feb. 13 to offer a reminder to California residents to apply for a Real ID card.

State Transportation Agency Secretary David Kim and representatives with Los Angeles International Airport, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration reminded Californians that starting Oct. 1, all travelers will need a Real ID or another acceptable form of identification to board flights within the United States. 

California driver licenses and identification cards that are REAL ID-compliant are marked with a bear and star.

“If you need a Real ID to fly domestically, we urge you to come in to a DMV office now to get it done,” said Kim, speaking at a Feb. 13 press conference at the airport. “Wait times are low, online applications are available to speed up the process, and you do not need an appointment to complete the transaction at your local DMV office.”

The DMV staffed a table in Terminal 1 near the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint to advise guests of the upcoming deadline and answer their questions for most of the day. Information about Real ID is also being distributed at the LAX volunteer-staffed information booths in seven of the airport’s domestic terminals. 

“LAX is investing billions of dollars into modernizing the entire airport experience, but passengers won’t be able to enjoy those changes if they can’t get past security,” said Justin Erbacci, interim chief executive officer of Los Angeles World Airports, the agency that operates the airport. “By partnering with the TSA and DMV, we are working to get the word out about Real ID requirements so our guests will be prepared for this imminent change.”

“It’s important to remember that even if you do not plan to fly, there may be unexpected circumstances that will require you to catch a domestic flight and we want you to be Real ID ready,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “We have been working hard to make the application process as easy as possible and we encourage everyone to make plans now to get a Real ID.” 

“Starting Oct. 1, TSA officers will no longer be permitted to accept a state-issued driver license or identification card from travelers as their picture ID unless that credential meets Real ID standards,” said Keith Jeffries, TSA federal security director for LAX. “While TSA accepts multiple forms of picture ID at the security checkpoint, the fact is the majority of travelers use a driver’s license. We join with our state and airport partners to encourage residents to take steps now to ensure you are ready for federal enforcement of Real ID requirements.” 

Californians applying for a Real ID are required to visit a DMV field office and bring an identity document, such as a valid passport or original birth certificate; A document with the entire Social Security number visible, such as an original Social Security card or W-2 form; two hard copy documents showing California residency, such as a utility or cell phone bill, bank statement or mortgage bill.

The DMV’s resolution is to keep wait times low. The DMV says Californians can do their part by completing the required application online beforehand and being prepared for their visit to a DMV.

Appointments are not required to complete an in-person Real ID application, and customers can check wait times at nearby offices on the DMV website. 

Many DMV offices also offer Saturday and extended morning hours. A full list of DMV offices and operating hours can be found at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/fo/fotoc

Wave Staff Report