SPRINGFIELD, Mo. It took 12 long years for Missouri to come under federal compliance, but as of this week you can go to your local license bureau and get a Real ID.
"I feel like a citizen again," said Lisa Casey, who was one of those at the office on Park Central Square getting her Real ID drivers license, which looks just like the old one except for a star in the upper right corner.
Under federal law, by October, 2020 you will need a Real ID to board a domestic flight or enter a federal facility like Ft. Leonard Wood.
The license offices themselves had to upgrade software and add machines to scan documents that must now be retained for 10 years under federal law.
But it's that personal information database created by the law that caused Missouri government officials to drag their feet over implementing the mandate because of concerns over privacy.
"At first I was apprehensive about it," Casey admitted.
"Somebody told me you could be tracked or something," added Amber Calloway, another resident who was at the Park Central Square office hoping to get a Real ID. "I was like, 'I don't know if I wanna get an ID where I'm gonna get tracked.'"
But according to state officials, that's not the case.
"If you're talking about a criminal background check there isn't anything like that," explained Joey Plaggenberg, the Director of Missouri's Drivers's License Bureau. "We're more concerned with insuring that the documents that are presented are authentic documents because if there is a problem down the road with some kind of question of fraud or criminality then law enforcement can ask us and we can give them whatever they need to mitigate that on their side."
So what are the documents you'll need?
Basically it's the same as getting a driver's license with one major exception.
You'll need proof of lawful status and a form of ID, both of which can be met using a birth certificate or passport.
You'll also need social security proof using a social security card or W-2 form.
But the difference you need to be aware of between Real ID and a non-compliance driver's license comes in that you'll need TWO proofs of residency as opposed to just ONE for a regular driver's license.
Those two proofs of residency must also be from different sources but can basically be anything with your home address on it such as a utility bill, voter registration card, bank statement, property tax receipt or auto insurance card.
So don't get caught by surprise when you make the trek to your license office. Because the lines may be longer the next time you go.
By the way, Real ID and non-compliant drivers licenses cost the same, $10 for a three-year license, $20 for six years.