Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sun, Feb. 23

Editorial | Don’t delay ‘Real ID’ license acquisition

Let’s begin with the obvious: If the nation’s borders were secured, there would be no compelling need for half the hassle of airport security for domestic flights or for documents that contain Real ID security features.

That’s not the nation of today, though, and Arizonans will in 2020 face the reality of Real ID drivers licenses if they want to fly on airliners.

Sure, obtaining them will require some extra money and time, but the headaches will be less for those who don’t wait until the deadline.

As of Oct. 1, 2020, the current Arizona drivers license will no longer be an acceptable form of identification for federal security checkpoints.

That means either relying on passports for identification or getting a new Real ID-compliant license from the state. They will be $25, last eight years and will be issued with the right kind of supporting documentation that includes passports, utility bills, Social Security cards and others.

The process includes appointments at the Motor Vehicle Division of the Arizona Department of Transportation. These are available online at

The state is really, really encouraging people to get these as soon as possible.

Arizona itself, though, was one of the last states to agree to some Real ID identification mechanism, mandated by federal law in 2005.

State lawmakers had a very justifiable problem with something that looks, feels and is a national identity card, the kind of “papers, please” documents very popular in totalitarian states.

Sensing resistance from Arizona, airport security began rejecting some Arizona drivers licenses. The Legislature finally developed a workaround that produces Real ID-compliant drivers licenses that aren’t actually Real IDs. They said. With all those twists, an actual deadline is approaching.

The state is probably right about the rush in the summer and fall and is justified in campaigning for residents to march down and get their new Real ID license.

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