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House Report: Upgrading to a REAL ID Driver’s License

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This week we want to remind you of an important deadline approaching all Arkansans.

On October 1, 2020, anyone who boards a domestic flight or enters a federal building will either need a REAL ID driver’s license (DL) or Identification Card (ID) or will need to provide a regular identification and additional accepted forms of identification.

Arkansas is taking part in the federal nationwide initiative to improve the security of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, which will help fight terrorism and reduce identity fraud.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 adopted the recommendations of the 911 Commission. The REAL ID Act prohibits the federal government from accepting driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by states that do not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act. This includes but is not limited to commercial air flights and federal buildings.

You can upgrade to REAL ID at any time by having a duplicate license issued at a REAL ID office. The following Revenue Offices issue the REAL ID: Arkadelphia, Batesville, Bentonville, Conway, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Fort Smith (6515 Phoenix Avenue), Greenwood, Harrison, Hot Springs (200 Woodbine), Jonesboro, Little Rock (Three State Police Plaza Drive), Little Rock (1900 W. 7th Street), Little Rock (9108 North Rodney Parham), Monticello, Mountain Home, Paragould, Russellville, Searcy, Sherwood, Springdale, Texarkana, West Memphis, and White Hall.

An individual applying for Real ID must provide more documentation than an individual applying for a regular driver’s license or State ID.The federal government requires Arkansans to confirm proof of residency, legal presence and identity and Social Security number through the following documentation:

  • Passport or birth certificate
  • Two proof of address documents such as utility bills or bank statements
  • Social Security card
  • Name change linking documents, example: Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, Court Order

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) recently launched a website, www.ar.gov/REALID, allowing Arkansans to list the documentation that will be presented at the Revenue Office to obtain a REAL ID. The website confirms the documents meet all requirements or specifies which document is missing.

The cost to obtain a REAL ID does not differ from the cost to obtain or renew a license or ID.

Close to 250,000 Arkansans have obtained a REAL ID, which is approximately ten percent of active licenses and IDs in the state.  Make plans to get yours soon!

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