Beginning Thursday, Oct. 1, individuals will not be permitted to board a commercial airplane or enter a federal building without a REAL ID. Congress passed legislation in 2005 requiring the REAL ID and according to the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles, only 40 percent of West Virginians are compliant.
A REAL ID is a state-issued photo identification or driver’s license that includes a gold star in the upper-right corner.
In order to get a REAL ID, you will need several documents. The WVDMV has created a website to make it easy to determine what documents are needed. The website is go.wv.gov/realid.
The website has some frequently asked questions, as well as a checklist to help with document questions.
In general, you will need proof of identity, which includes a birth certificate, passport or passport card. If you don’t have a certified copy of your birth certificate, you will have to request one from the state in which you were born.
You will also need proof of your Social Security Number. If you don’t have a Social Security card, you can use a W-2 statement or 1099 Tax Statement, which includes your name and Social Security number, or a pay stub with your name and Social Security number. If you don’t have any of those documents, you will have to request a Social Security Card from the Social Security Administration.
You will need two forms of proof of West Virginia residency. This could include a variety of different documents. The most frequently used are a utility bill with your name and address, a pay stub with your name and address, a bank or credit card statement, a voter registration card or a valid WV driver’s license.
The website mentioned above provides a list of approved documents.
You will also need proof of name changes. This is particularly pertinent to women who have changed their name because of marriage and/or divorce. There needs to be a paper trail of your name from birth to current. If you don’t have a certified copy of the marriage license and/or divorce decree or court order, you will need to request it from the proper state agency.
Requesting documents from state agencies often takes some time and there is a cost associated. In addition to the website, you can call the DMV at 1-800-642-9066. You will get a recording and need to press 2, listen to the menu, then press 7 to reach someone to answer REAL ID questions.
When you have accumulated the documentation necessary, take it to the nearest DMV office. There is a $10 fee for the REAL ID. A temporary card will be issued until a permanent license or ID is manufactured. It is estimated to take 10 to 14 business days.
Because of the time it takes to acquire the proper documents, it is suggested you begin the process as soon as possible to be compliant by Oct. 1.