Montanans can apply for REAL ID cards in January

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 20:59:51-04

HELENA – The state has new website to help residents learn more about the coming Real ID compliant Montana driver’s licenses and ID’s.

Real ID compliant identification will become available in Montana January 2019.

The most visible change will be a gold star in the upper right corner of your license.

The new website has information on the cost of getting a Real ID compliant license and when it will be required to enter federal facilities or commercial airlines.

The cost will vary based on whether you are renewing your license or getting a replacement.

You will need to provide specific documents to get the upgraded ID such as social security and proof of residency.

Currently Montana has an extension through October 10th, 2018.

The state has requested another extension that will allow you to use your old ID for one more year. Notice of that extension will come out in mid-September.

Michele Snowberger, Driver Services Bureau Chief says “We are very excited about our new website because we believe it will give our customers the very best information for them to be able to make a decision as to about whether or not real id is the correct choice for them and then and then what the process is in order for them to get a Real ID.”

The Real ID is voluntary, but if you do not have the Real ID by October 1st of 2020, you will not have access to domestic commercial flights, or federal facilities.

Without a Real ID compliant identification you will need a document like a passport to enter most federal facilities and to access domestic commercial flights .

Montana Department of Justice Motor Vehicle Division will be releasing a campaign after November elections to keep people up to date on the changes.

To access Montana’s Real ID website use the following link:

“Over the last year, we’ve been working toward REAL ID implementation by acquiring the necessary equipment to issue compliant credentials and producing outreach materials like this new website,” MVD Administrator Sarah Garcia said in a press release. “Before the end of the year, we will launch a public service announcement campaign, created through a partnership with MSU-Billings students. We want to give Montanans ample time and accurate information to decide if a REAL ID license is right for them.”

At this time, Montana drivers’ licenses are accepted by the Transportation Security Administration to board domestic commercial flights and access federal facilities. MVD has requested another one-year extension and is awaiting the decision. MVD continues work closely with DHS to ensure full compliance with the law.

The MT REAL ID website states: “You are not required to get a Montana REAL ID compliant license or ID; however, a Montana REAL ID compliant license or ID or another acceptable form of identification is required to fly domestically and access federal facilities by October 2020. Alternative options, such as a passport or passport card, are acceptable forms of identification as well.”

Reporting by Mercedies Pruneda for MTN News