The Mountain Times

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Vt. REAL ID driver’s licenses now available, required by end of year for some


A new kind of driver's license and non-driver's identification is now available at offices of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles.
Starting Thursday, Jan. 2, Vermonters will be able to obtain REAL ID compliant identification in person at all motor vehicles offices.
The federal REAL ID Act (passed in 2005) is designed to promote security by requiring states to meet "certain physical and procedural security standards for production and issuance of DLs (driver's licenses) and ID cards, as well as certain documentation standards, including authentication and verification standards for proof of identity, date of birth, Social Security number, residence, and lawful status or presence."
To obtain a REAL ID, people will need an original or certified copy of their birth certificate or other proof of identity, and proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States. People will also need proof of their Social Security numbers.
Most Vermonters will be able to obtain a REAL ID when they renew their licenses. Everyone will be required to have a REAL ID by Dec. 1, 2017, to comply with federal guidelines. The federal compliance date for people born after Dec. 1, 1964, is Dec. 1, 2014.
After that date, federal officials may require REAL ID-approved identification when boarding an aircraft, entering federal facilities that require ID and entering nuclear power plants, according to documents on the state's website.
If you have another form of federal identification you can use for these purposes, such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card, you may decide you don't need a REAL ID marked card.
Because Vermont already produces cards that meet the REAL ID security standards, there will be almost no material differences. They will be made of the same materials; offer the same security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting or duplication; contain the same information; and have the same general appearance.
The only significant physical difference will be a star verification mark on the front of the card in the upper, right-hand corner.