If you live in the United States do you have your REAL ID?
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 to set standards for identification such as drivers licenses and state ID cards. The law says that if I want to fly domestically after October 1, 2020 without my passport I needed to upgrade my license to meet the new standards. Thanks to the reminders my travel agent friend keeps posting on Facebook I decided to upgrade sooner rather than later.
It was a bit of a challenge to gather the required documents to
apply for the new license. I dug around in our files to find my
passport, certified birth
certificate, Social Security card, and two out of
the eighteen acceptable documents that proved I lived in Missouri. (The
hardest document to find was my certified marriage license, which it turns
out I didn't need because I also have my maiden name on my passport)
Last Friday I swung by the license bureau. There are two separate areas for license plate and drivers license business. There were ten people ahead of me doing the same thing I was, and it took 30 minutes for my turn. Unfortunately, I had misread the list of residency documents and only had one instead of two. Before I left I asked the clerk the best time to come back if I wanted to avoid a line. She told me that the office opened at 7:30 in the morning.
I arranged today's schedule so I could make the license bureau my first errand of the morning. However, the best laid plans don't always work. I had trouble getting to sleep when I went to bed and then a huge rainstorm moved in overnight; the heavy rain woke me up, and my last two hours of sleep were restless. It was hard to get up when the alarm went off, and hard to get moving once I rolled out of bed. Instead of leaving the house to get to the office when it opened I pulled out of the garage an hour later.
Imagine my surprise when I pulled into the parking lot and saw a line of people standing outside.
When I walked past the door on my way back to the end of the line I saw a sign that said the office would be opening an hour late because they had to clean up some water. Five minutes after I joined the line the door opened and everyone filed in. In the seating area two large trash cans were placed under missing ceiling tiles, and there were signs that a large mess had been cleaned up, because the roof had leaked during the downpour of rain.
There were seven people ahead of me and only one clerk working on the drivers license side. After waiting for a little over an hour she called my number. The clerk examined my documents, scanned or made copies of each, and asked me to digitally sign new license form. Ninety minutes after I arrived at the office I was walking back to my car.
I'm glad I'm finished with the project. (For now.) I found out that I'll have to go through the whole thing again every other license renewal.