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Iowa D.O.T. to begin issuing REAL ID-approved cards

Jan 03, 2013

AMES — The Iowa Department of Transportation will begin issuing driver’s licenses and nonoperator’s identification cards that are REAL ID approved on Jan. 15.

REAL ID-approved document is a state-issued DL or nonoperator ID card that meets the federal standards for physical security and verification of identity and legal presence in the United States. A REAL ID-approved document is also a valid form of federally issued identification, such as a U.S. passport book or card.

In Iowa, a REAL ID DL or nonoperator ID card will look nearly identical to a standard DL or nonoperator ID card. It will be made of the same material and contain the same advanced security features. The only difference will be a star verification mark appearing in the upper right-hand corner of the card. The star indicates to federal screening officials that the person’s identity has been verified according to the latest federal standards.

A new applicant for an Iowa DL or nonoperator ID is already required to present the documents necessary to obtain a REAL ID- approved card; and will be automatically issued a REAL ID-approved document with the star verification mark upon successful completion of the application process.

Existing Iowa DL or nonoperator ID cardholders are not required to get a REAL ID-approved card, but may apply for one if needed.

In the future, a REAL ID-approved card may be needed for certain federal purposes – specifically, to board a plane, enter a federal building that requires identification to enter, or enter a nuclear power plant. A person who does not plan to do any of these activities, or who will do so infrequently, may decide he or she doesn’t need a REAL ID-approved card.

A person does not need a REAL ID-approved DL or nonoperator ID if he has another form of federally approved identification. Valid U.S. passport books and cards, as well as other forms of federally issued identification, are accepted forms of identification for all of the REAL ID purposes.

The Iowa D.O.T. will begin issuing REAL ID-approved documents Jan. 15, but there is no need to rush out to get one.The federal compliance date varies according to birth dates.

For a person born after Dec. 1, 1964, the federal compliance date is Dec. 1, 2014.

For a person born on or before Dec. 1, 1964, the federal compliance date is not until Dec. 1, 2017.

Applying for a REAL ID-approved DL or nonoperator ID is just like applying for a new card. A person must present documents that establish his identity and date of birth, Social Security number, residency and residential address, any name changes, and fact that he is lawfully in the United States.

It doesn’t matter how long a person has held an Iowa DL or nonoperator ID, every applicant for a REAL ID-approved card must provide these documents. However, the applicant does not have to take a drive test or knowledge test, unless it is needed for another reason.

No additional fee charged to get an Iowa REAL ID-approved DL or nonoperator ID. A person applying for his first Iowa DL or nonoperator ID or renewing one, will be charged the same standard fee. However, if a person wants a REAL ID-approved card before his next renewal, he will be required to pay a $1 duplicate fee.

For information, log on to Iowa D.O.T.’s REAL ID website at www.iowadot.gov/mvd/realid/faq.html; call 800-532-1121; or visit a driver’s license issuance site.

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