In just 10 months, the regular Wisconsin driver’s license or identification card will no longer be accepted for domestic air travel or to enter a federal building or military base.
Travelers 18 and older and visitors to federal facilities will need to present REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or state ID cards to gain access starting Oct. 1, 2020.
And the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles is hoping to get the word out now, so people aren’t turned away when they try to board a plane or stop at a federal facility after that date.
“Everyone’s ID in their wallet today is real” and is an acceptable form of ID for voting in Wisconsin, said Kristina Boardman, administrator of the Division of Motor Vehicles.
However, Boardman said, the standard Wisconsin driver’s license and ID don’t meet the federal standards for verification that REAL ID-compliant products do.
“Our customers are encouraged to visit the DMV sooner rather than later,” Boardman said. “No one wants to miss their flight or meeting because they don’t have the proper identification.”
She said she expects 2020 to be an exceptionally busy year at the DMV.
While Wisconsin has been issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and IDs since 2013, Boardman said only about 40% of total card holders have been issued REAL ID-compliant products.
The DMV is encouraging those who don’t have a REAL ID or another federally accepted form of identification, such as a passport or military ID, to get one now because it’s anticipated they could face longer wait times and longer lines at the DMV as the deadline approaches.
“We urge anyone who plans to fly domestically or visit a federal building or military base to make plans to enroll in REAL ID well ahead of the October 1, 2020 deadline,” Boardman said.
Customers will still have a choice between the Wisconsin standard licenses and IDs, but if they prefer the REAL ID, there are documents they are going to need when they renew their license or ID. Documents required for issuing a REAL ID include a birth certificate, Social Security card and a current bill with a current address if different from the one your current license. In cases where people’s names have changed, such as marriage, proof of the name change is also required. Those documents will be scanned and verified for authenticity. For information, visit wisconsindmv.gov and search for “REAL ID.”
REAL IDs from another state are not transferable, so the documents are still needed if you’re new to Wisconsin, Boardman said.
If the Real ID is obtained during the normal renewal cycle, there is no additional charge over the renewal fee; however, if a standard license or ID was issued at the time of renewal and people need a Real ID outside of the normal renewal cycle, Boardman said a duplicate fee will be charged. She said the renewal fee is the same whether you’re issued a standard license or ID, or a Real ID.
“We don’t want people waiting until the last minute,” Boardman said.