ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — A state agency is hoping to have REAL ID’s in the hands of half a million Arkansans by the end of the year.
The deadline would have been this Friday but it was pushed back two years because of the pandemic, giving people more time to get the REAL ID. However, that doesn’t mean you should put it off.
Scott Hardin is with the State Department of Finance and Administration. He says you will need the REAL ID to enter federal buildings and to board domestic flights. He adds other than a passport, it is the most secure form of identification you can get.
This has been in the works for over 15 years. Congress passed the REAL ID ACT of 2005 to improve the security of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.
“We don’t want to make you wait in a revenue office longer than you have to… So, I would recommend obtaining it now if your renewal is coming up might as well do it now if you’re going to get it down the road anyway,” said Hardin.
There is no difference in cost from a REAL ID or regular license. It’ll cost you $40 for a first-time issue or renewal. To convert an up-to-date DL will cost you $10, and for the state ID it’s $5.
Hardin says more than 463,000 people have gotten the REAL ID in Arkansas, with the Bentonville and Fayetteville offices issuing the most REAL ID’s across the state.
Over 1.8 million Arkansans still need to get the REAL ID in the natural state and there are some things to keep in mind before heading to the revenue office.
Preparation is key. Hardin says one of the common mistakes people make when applying is not having all or the right documents.
Hardin says several documents are needed to get a REAL ID but that is to ensure the federal government of the identity of the person on that ID.
Hardin says they created a site to help Arkansans make sure they have all of the correct and required items before making the trip to the revenue office. That website is AR.GOV/REALID.
“If your birth certificate says Bob Smith or Sally Smith, and someone gets married and it is now Sally Jones… Well, under those circumstances we can’t issue you the REAL ID because your name has changed across documents. So what you need to do is bring the backup document, the marriage certificate, the divorce decree. Whatever it is that justifies that name change,” said Hardin.
Hardin says you will need to show proof of citizenship, identity, and residency to name a few.
Now, if you do not have your original copies of the documents required then you will need to reach out to the appropriate agencies to get those documents. For example, if you lost your Arkansas birth certificate you will need to get a certified copy from the Arkansas Department of Health.
The deadline is May 3rd, 2023.