Letter: Know all the facts before renewing driver’s license

From: Greg Harter


Just a precautionary note for those folks renewing their Indiana driver’s licenses this year. If you have any plans to travel by commercial airplane or train, or enter some federal facilities, you will need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license.

About 50 percent of those folks going to the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles are sent away to obtain additional documents before applying for renewal. That number is down from earlier this year.

The law takes effect Oct. 1, 2020; your renewal this year may not expire until after that date (depending on your age). If you are going to apply for a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, consider the following:

  • The most reliable resource for finding out what documents you need is the realid.in.gov website. Read it carefully.
  • You can talk to the local branch and/or call the state BMV number, but the website is the authoritative document for all four categories of information you must provide.
  • One caveat: If you don’t have your Social Security card, a 1099 from a financial institution (for interest, dividends and/or capital gains) can be an acceptable substitute, among others, but the 1099 does not necessarily display your complete Social Security number, in which case the BMV can’t accept that document.

Check to be sure before going to the BMV. This is a good example of getting your ducks in a row.