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REAL ID: What you need to know before Oct. 1 deadline

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WEST VIRGINIA (WVVA) -- In nearly 7 months, the Real ID Act moves off the drawing board and into the reality of air-travel and access to Federal buildings in the U.S. But outside those restrictions, the "Real ID" isn't required.

"Some people don't have any plans to fly, don't have any plans to access federal buildings; so the regular driver's license is still a secure driver's license, it's just not the federal 'real' ID," explained WV DMV Public Information Specialist Natalie Holcomb.

The federally-approved driver's license isn't the only option for a Real ID, either. A valid Passport meets Real ID security standards, but it takes a bigger bite out of your budget. According to the USPS, the cost for an adult passport book is $110 plus a $25 processing/acceptance fee.

"So they'll be people that will choose to have drivers licenses instead," Holcomb explained. "Especially if they're flying within the US and not having to travel internationally, at which point you'd have to have a passport."

In West Virginia, regular license renewal costs $25.50. To get a Real ID, you'll have to pay an additional fee of $10 - because the IDs are produced by a central print facility rather than at the regional DMV office - and mailed to the recipient.

Holcomb says the Mountain State has been Real ID compliant since 2012 and 40% of West Virginians already have one. If you're unsure if your license is a Real ID, check the top right corner for a gold star.

The requirements to get a Real ID are similar to those of a regular driver's license. They are:

  • 1 proof of identification (and proof of name change, if applicable)
  • 1 proof of SSN
  • 2 proofs of residency

For more information on the Real ID, click here.

Jade Burks

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