That ID’s Not Gonna Fly: Here’s What You Need to Know about the Real ID Changes Coming to Oregon

There’s a big change coming this year to the way Oregonians travel by air, and if you’re not ready, you could find yourself missing your flight at PDX or stranded at some other airport across the country.

On Oct. 1, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, begins requiring a new type of identification to board a commercial aircraft. The new ID must be compliant with something called the Real ID Act.

It’s designed to keep us safer in the air, but if you try to board an aircraft after Oct. 1 using your current Oregon driver license – it won’t work. That’s because the current Oregon driver license is not Real ID-compliant.

In fact, Oregon is one of the last states to not be Real ID-compliant, according to the Department of Homeland Security, along with the state of Oklahoma. (Go, Sooners!)

Oregon DMV will not begin offering a Real ID option until July 6, 2020. To fulfill the demand of the estimated 1 million Oregonians who will want or need Real ID-compliant licenses, DMV would have to issue 32 licenses a minute every business day from July to October.

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As even the DMV admits, “That’s just not possible.”

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If you don’t have a Real ID-compliant form of identification at the airport, TSA will put you through an alternate identity verification process that could take an hour or more, according to DMV, and you could miss your flight.

DMV suggests the best solution for Oregonians is to obtain and use a passport or passport card. The cost of getting a new passport card is roughly equal to that of getting a replacement license with the Real ID option — and you can apply now at one of over 76 acceptance sites across Oregon.

To find out more, visit https://www.oregon.gov/realid.

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