What you need to know about Real ID licenses

Local license bureaus are finding that Missouri residents are confused about the Real ID licenses.

The new licenses serve as ID for drivers and non-drivers, and will be required by federal law to board planes and some federal buildings beginning in October 2020, unless individuals possess passports.

A recent story by Mark Bliss helped clarify some points:

* The Real ID cards can be obtained now, but the cards won't be required for travel and federal buildings until Oct. 1 next year.

* People may decline to get the Real ID and stick with a regular driver's license.

* The Real ID card costs the same as a regular driver's license.

* People with passports may also receive the Real ID cards. Real ID cards are less expensive than passports.

* People can attain a Real ID card when their license is up for renewal.

* The Real ID card is discernible with a gold star in the right hand corner.

* Real ID cards require two forms of proof of identity and legal status in the U.S., such as social security cards, birth certificates, W-2 tax forms, bank statements, voter registration cards and utility bills.

* People who obtain the cards should not laminate them, as that will be considered tampering with the cards and will invalidate the card for passport purposes.

The Real ID cards will be useful and convenient for many purposes once the process is understood. As with any new system, there is an adjustment period for people to understand the process.