Beginning January 15th of this year, the Iowa Department of Transportation will begin issuing REAL ID’s. These IDs were mandated by Congress in the REAL ID Act of 2005. This legislation was passed in response to acts of terrorism committed against the United States, and as an effort to ensure the safety of American citizens.
The REAL ID Act promotes security in the issuance of Driver Licenses and ID cards, and deters identity theft and fraud by requiring states to meet certain standards for production and issuance of these 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.
Under current federal regulations, these new REAL IDs will be needed for “federal official purposes”. Federal “official purposes” are defined as boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, accessing federal facilities that require identification to enter, and entering nuclear power plants.
Because Iowa already produces cards that met the REAL ID security standards, there will be almost no recognizable 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.
DOT officials say that for more information, you can visit their website at www.iowadot.gov, and click on the REAL ID link on the right side of the page.