By Tanisha Thomas
GateHouse Media Ohio
Starting in October 2020, your old Ohio driver’s license won’t be enough to get you through security for a commercial flight in the United States.
You’ll need an enhanced license or identification card that complies with new federal security regulations.
But the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles suggests that Ohio residents start getting those new IDs soon, to avoid long lines or perhaps being turned away at the airport.
The agency began offering the compliant licenses Monday. And anyone wanting to get the new license will need to bring some more documentation to the BMV.
The federal Real ID Act mandates that state driver’s licenses meet certain standards when used for entering some federal facilities or boarding a plane.
“The idea for this first came from the 9/11 attacks,” former Ohio Deputy Registrar Mike Rankin said. The Real ID Act that prompted these changes was passed in 2005, he said, “but it has taken states 13 years to get onboard because it is partially unfunded. It does cost to do this.”
The new process will involve several changes to get the driver’s license.
For one, visitors to the BMV will not walk away with the license. New and renewed licenses and ID cards will be mailed within 10 days, and customers will receive a temporary identification card until the new license arrives. The temporary ID will expire after 45 days. Old licenses will have a hole punched through them, but can be used as another form of identification for renewal.
BMV visitors will be offered a choice of two licenses — standard or compliant cards. Each costs $25.75.
The compliant card will meet the new federal travel guidelines. That means travelers can use those licenses as IDs to fly commercially or to access federal buildings, including military bases.
The new rules take effect Oct. 1, 2020, so until then either license will work as an ID at the airport.
But travelers will need more documentation to obtain the compliant license, which is emblazoned with a star.
Requirements include documents that show the driver’s full legal name, date of birth, proof of U.S. citizenship, Social Security number and two proofs of Ohio residency. The BMV explains the process, including a checklist of acceptable documents, at Bmv.ohio.gov/NEWDL-ID/.
Customers do not have to present documents for every renewal, said Don Petit, registrar for the Ohio BMV.
“The documents will be retained for future renewals unless a change occurs, such as a person changing their name,” Petit said. “Then they will have to provide documents showing proof of that name change.”
The standard card does not require additional documents for renewals, but visitors will need to provide documents proving their full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, Ohio residency and citizenship or legal residence if the card is being issued for the first time.
BMV officials said they’re confident early education campaigns will minimize issues such as long lines and visitors not bringing the correct documents.
“One thing we’ve learned over time is any time there’s a change, you will see it at first,” Petit said.
“But as customers become more comfortable and prepared, and the employees are working the process longer, the process runs smoother.”