LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - If you’ve been to a local tag agency to renew your license or get a Real ID lately, you may notice that you’re experiencing longer wait times, and it’s not just because of the pandemic.
Last year, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety started issuing Real ID driver’s licenses to comply with federal regulations. The Comanche County Tag Agency Office Manager Irene Cardona said many people don’t realize how much time it takes to apply.
The Real ID has more information that’s required by the TSA and Homeland Security for domestic travel and to enter federal buildings.
“The non-compliant, which everyone will see printed on their driver’s license, it’ll say ‘Not for Real ID purposes,’” Cardona said. “This does not mean it’s not a real ID or a driver’s license. It just means it’s not the federally compliant. It is still valid for driving and identification purposes.”
In order to get a Real ID, you’ll need several documents, including proof of identity in the U.S., proof of a Social Security number and proof of your current Oklahoma address.
“A military ID is federally compliant, a passport unexpired is federally compliant as well, so you do not need to have the federally compliant driver’s license or credential if you have those items,” Cardona said.
Many customers are frustrated, but Oklahomans who don’t plan to board a domestic flight or enter federal buildings are not required to get the Real ID.
“If you do not travel anywhere and you don’t plan to, then you do not have to get the Real ID,” Cardona said. “You can get a regular non-compliant driver’s license or ID.”
When you’re getting a Real ID, you can expect at least a 25-30 minute wait. After your information is processed, you’ll get a document that is used in place of the Real ID until you receive it in the mail. That should take about two weeks.
“We just ask for everyone to be patient with us and be understanding because we know that this is frustrating,” Cardona said. “We have to go through the same process for ourselves.”
Oklahomans can use their current driver’s license or Oklahoma identification card to fly domestically or enter federal facilities until Oct. 1, 2021. After that time, they’ll need a Real ID to do so.
You can schedule an appointment to renew your license or get a Real ID at oktagagent.com/comanche/. If you can’t get an appointment as soon as you’d like, they recommend checking with some smaller agencies in the Southwest Oklahoma area.