INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — If you use a driver’s license to go through security at the airport, you may need to get a new license soon.
Starting in October 2020, Hoosiers will not be able to use standard driver’s licenses to fly commercial air. Instead, they’ll need what’s called a Real ID.
You may only notice a small star in the corner of your driver’s license, but in 2020, it will be Hoosiers’ ticket into federal buildings, Amtrak trains and airplanes.
Only about 25 percent of Hoosiers have a Real ID, and many don’t even know the difference.
A typical driver’s license in Indiana needs to be renewed every six years. So BMV Commissioner Peter Lacy said he’s worried if you don’t have to renew your license before 2020, you may not come in to get a Real ID.
Lacy said that’s because until recently the federal government hadn’t given states a deadline for when residents would need to get these licenses.
“We are in the process of ramping up that message,” he said.
To be clear, you don’t have to get a Real ID license. But the intent of the law is to increase security when people travel or visit government buildings.
The law passed at the federal level in 2005 in the wake of 9/11 and then passed in Indiana in 2010.
“It’s a way to make sure our licenses are more secure and the person who is presenting themselves with a license really is that person,” said Lacy.
That added security comes through additional requirements to get a Real ID. Hoosiers can visit any BMV branch or the Indiana State Fair mobile branch and must bring documents proving identity, social security number, and Indiana residency.
The Real ID doesn’t cost any more than a standard license renewal, and the process doesn’t take long.
“Took me from start to finish five minutes,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, who got her Real ID Friday.
If you don’t get a Real ID, your ability to vote, drive a car or apply for federal benefits will not be affected.
For more information, click here.
The TSA does have a list of other documents you can use to fly, board Amtrak trains or go to federal buildings after October 2020. Click here for that information.