October may seem far off, but for those wishing to acquire a REAL ID, there’s no time like the present to secure the new driver license identification.

The new license is designed to protect American citizens from terrorism and identity theft. According to the Department of Homeland Security website, “the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.”

Recognized by the gold star in the upper right-hand corner of a driver license, the REAL ID will be needed for those wishing to fly, access federal facilities and enter nuclear power plants beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Delaware County Treasurer Pam Klein said her office has seen an uptick in issuing the REAL ID. “Over holiday break we have been busy,” she said. “One day we issued over 80 of them.”

Those wanting to get the new ID need the following items:

• Proof of identity (one of the following): Official birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or most recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services immigration or refugee document.

• Proof of social security number (one of the following): Social security card, W-2 or 1099 (must show your entire social security number).

• Proofs of residency (two items showing your name and address where you live): Utility bill, bank or credit card statement, piece of postmarked mail or find other examples online.

• Proof of any legal name changes (any of the following if applicable): Marriage certificate if your last name changed, divorce decree indicating name change, or court order under petition for name change.

Klein emphasized that documents need to be certified. “You may have some of the documents, while others may not be certified. If someone comes in with the little document from the hospital from when they were born, that’s not a certified, valid birth certificate. They will need one from either the Recorder’s Office or from the state of Iowa.”

Klein said she has also had questions concerning name changes, such as a maiden name. “Any time you have a name change, you have to have a document that follows that name change. If you were married and divorced and remarried, you need both those marriage certifications. There has to be a document that follows that name change.”

Klein said a U.S. passport may already have the name change information. “If you have a passport, we don’t require that documentation because that is a federal document and all the information was already sent to the federal government to get the passport.”

Klein said there is one exception to the passport. “If it has a maiden name only on the passport and then someone gets married, it’s not current.”

Klein said for those who have a driver’s license that isn’t up for renewal this year, a $10 fee is charged to get the REAL ID. She said if someone doesn’t want to pay the $10, they have an option until their license is up for renewal. “If you have a passport, travel with that. The passport will get you in and out.”

Klein cautioned that the REAL ID is only good in the continental United States. “It doesn’t work in foreign countries. You still need your passport there.”

She said her office can help answer questions. “A flyer went out with license renewals. Also, everyone here in the office is more than happy to help answer questions.”

Additional information may be found at www.iowadot.gov/mvd/realid.