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Real ID deadline delayed a year amid pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has confirmed the Real ID deadline has been pushed back to Oct. 1, 2021.

Before, everyone was required to get a Real ID if they planned on flying, visiting military bases, nuclear bases and some federal buildings by Oct. 1, 2020. Due to the pandemic, though, and motor vehicle agencies shutting down nationwide, the federal government has decided to push back the date.

Indiana has been issuing Real IDs since 2010. As of 2020, a spokesperson said about 60 percent of Hoosiers had gotten one. One challenge some people have experienced is getting all of the documents necessary to apply.

“This could take you a little bit of time,” admitted Kevin Garvey, the chief operating officer for the BMV.

Garvey said each person will need a document that proves lawful status, their identity, social security and two proofs of residency. He urges people to review the official checklist or their website before heading in for their new ID.

CBS4 also found out a lot of people are having difficulty proving their identity if they have changed their name. Those who have gotten married or divorced multiple times are having to track down the documents necessary to show when and why their name changed. For some, that means accessing court records from decades ago.

“It’s something that is affecting folks on a national level,” Garvey said.

Once you’re at the BMV, the state agency is no longer issuing driver’s licenses on the spot. Instead, licenses are issued centrally.

“There is a huge security thing,” Garvey explained. “We take the time on the back end of the transaction to vet all those documents and make sure those documents contain all the signatures you need.”

The Indiana BMV said its average visit time statewide was less than 14 minutes in 2019. It expects the same average wait time for 2020.

“In the last year or two years, we have seen a big change folks are coming in so much more prepared,” Garvey said. “Our job is not to make this hard. Our job is to make sure we find a way for folks who want to get a Real ID to get a Real ID.”

The federal government has said Real IDs will “improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection.”

For the Real ID documentation checklist, click here.

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