JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) — The Missouri Department of Revenue will begin offering REAL ID -compliant driver licenses and nondriver identification cards on Monday, March 25. Issuance of REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards is the final step in the process for Missouri to satisfy requirements of the federal REAL ID Act and its regulations. Under Missouri law, applying for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card is optional.
“The Department of Revenue will begin offering REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and nondriver ID cards on Monday, March 25,” said Ken Zellers, acting director for the Department. “Many people have worked very hard to get us to this point, and we’re pleased to be nearing the end of the process to implement a REAL ID program here in Missouri.”
Effective Oct. 1, 2020, residents of every U.S. state and territory will be required to present a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card, or another form of ID accepted by the Transportation Security Administration, to board federally regulated domestic flights. Individuals will also be required to present a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card, or another form of acceptable ID, to access federal facilities, including military bases and federal courthouses, and to enter nuclear power plants.
The Department anticipates increased foot traffic and longer wait times at license offices in the weeks immediately following the start of REAL ID-compliant license and ID card availability. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of the time between March 25, 2019, and Oct. 1, 2020, to apply for their REAL ID-compliant license or ID card.
“There’s no immediate need to rush to apply for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card because the current Missouri-issued license and ID card will afford the same access until October 2020,” said Joey Plaggenberg, director of the Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division. “Basically, if your license or ID card is not expiring within the next month or so, we strongly suggest waiting to apply until this initial rush has subsided.”
Plaggenberg emphasized that customers whose driver licenses or ID cards are set to expire in the coming weeks should plan on renewing as they have previously.
Customers should also be aware that license offices will be unable to provide driver license services on Saturday, March 23, 2019, due to necessary system updates regarding REAL ID processing capabilities. Motor vehicle titling and registration services may still be provided at those license offices scheduled to be open March 23. Customers who hold a license or ID card expiring yet in March or in April should check for the exact expiration date, verify license office schedules and plan their trip accordingly.
“We want to reiterate that not every person will necessarily need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card and that applying for one is a choice under Missouri law,” Plaggenberg said. “Finally, the REAL ID documentation requirements are different than what customers are used to, which is why anyone who plans on applying should review the Department’s listing of acceptable documents for REAL ID-compliant license and ID card processing before arriving to a license office.”
The Department has developed a user-friendly, interactive guide to help ensure customers know which documents are required to apply for a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card. The guide walks customers through a series of questions and ultimately provides a custom list of documents they should bring to the license office when they are ready to apply.
Applicants for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card must submit proof of identity, lawful status, Social Security number and two documents verifying Missouri residency. Additional documents may be required to verify a name change or use of an alternate mailing address.
The transaction and processing fees for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card, new or renewal, will be the same as they are currently.
Detailed fee information can be found at dor.mo.gov/drivers/license.php#fees. Customers can apply for an early duplicate license or ID card outside of their regular renewal period, which is six months prior to the expiration of their license or ID card. Missouri law allows for a one-time waiver of the duplicate transaction fee for persons who have not been issued a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card. License office processing fees, however, will not be waived and are $2.50 for a three-year issuance or $5 for a six-year issuance.
The Department oversees more than 175 contract license office locations throughout the state. License office locations, hours and days of operation, can be found at dor.mo.gov/offloc/.
Visit dor.mo.gov/drivers/real-id-information/ for a complete listing of acceptable documents for REAL ID-compliant license and ID card processing and to access the REAL ID interactive guide, as well as other important information regarding REAL ID. For more information about the REAL ID Act, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website at dhs.gov/real-id.