On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Transportation began issuing driver's licenses (DL) and nonoperator's identification cards (ID) that are REAL ID.
A REAL ID approved document is a state-issued drivers license or nonoperator identification 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. If you don't plan to don any of these activities, or will do so infrequently, you may decide you don't need a REAL ID approved card.
You do not need a REAL ID approved DL or nonoperator ID if you have 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 the REAL ID purposes.
The Iowa DOT states that there is no need to rush out to get a REAL ID. The federal compliance date varies according to your birth date.
* If you were born after Dec. 1, 1964, your federal compliance date is Dec. 1, 2014.
Beginning Dec. 1, 2014, federal officials may ask you for REAL ID approved identification when boarding aircraft, entering federal facilities that require ID to enter, and entering nuclear power plants.
* If you were born on or before Dec. 1 1964, your 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. You must present documents that establish your identity and date of birth, Social Security number, residency and residential address, any name changes, and the fact that you are lawful in the United States.
It doesn't matter how long you've held an Iowa DL or nonoperator ID, every applicant for a REAL ID approved card must provide these documents. However, you do not have to take a driver test or knowledge test, unless you need one for another reason.
To help applicants identify and gather the required documents, use the Iowa DOT's web application - "Prepare for Success."
There is no additional fee charged to get an Iowa REAL ID approve DL or nonoperator ID. If you are applying for your first Iowa DL or nonoperator ID or renewing one, you will be charged the same standard fee. However, if you want a REAL ID approved card before your next renewal, you will be required to pay a $1 duplicate fee.
Remember, there is no reason to rush out to get a REAL ID approved DL or nonoperator ID. The first federal card screening process does not start until Dec. 1, 2014.
For more information:
* Log on to Iowa DOT's REAL ID website at www.iowadot.gov/mvd/realid/faq.html.
* Call the toll-free information line at 1-800-532-1121, M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except state holidays.
* Visit your nearest driver's license issuance site, which is located at the Treasure's Office at the Cherokee County Courthouse.