DPS planning on 630k Oklahomans needing Real IDs before Oct deadline

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With only a third of Americans equipped with Real ID, concerns are mounting ahead of the looming federal Oct. 1 deadline. In Oklahoma, however, state officials are confident they can get it done.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - With only a third of Americans equipped with Real ID, concerns are mounting ahead of the looming federal Oct. 1 deadline. In Oklahoma, however, state officials are confident they can get it done.

Already people around the country are seeing massive lines and wait times to get the ID, and some states, including Oklahoma, have not even begun to issue them.

"October 1 without a delay is going to be chaos!" said Airports Council CEO Kevin Burke. "I don't think the administration wants it. I know our nation's airports don't want it. And most importantly, I don't think the traveling public wants that. I think we have to act sooner than that."

He's one of several pressing the White House to extend that deadline.

But so far, Oklahoma Department of Safety officials said they're planning on making that date.

"Whether there's some decisions being made behind the scenes to change that, we're not really a part of that conversation, so we're just going off the deadline we have right now and doing everything we can to comply," said DPS spokesperson Sarah Stewart.

Stewart said officials are confident the task is feasible, even though the April 30 start date makes Oklahoma one of the last states to begin issuing the IDs.

Only about 630,000 Oklahomans of the 3 million that have either a driver's license and/or an ID are anticipated to need or seek the IDs before the October deadline.

"We've kind of played with those numbers, and we looked at how many people already have passports or military IDs where they do not need to get this Real ID," Stewart said.

The DPS website has a section that can help people figure out whether they need the ID. Those who don't need it are urged not to get it. Not immediately, anyway.

"If you don't need that Real ID, your license isn't expiring anytime soon, you don't need to come in to a DPS office or a tag agent. You can wait until your license expires and you can make that decision whether you need a Real ID or not," Steward said.

People are also recommended to check when their passports expire. Those will be a more expensive but more convenient alternative to the new ID.

In the meantime, DPS is working around the clock to completely overhaul their computer system, which includes adding more fiber for the agency's bandwidth to hold onto copies of the required documents everyone will need.

"The updated computer systems, we have to have scanners at every location because we’re now scanning these documents and storing them," Stewart said.

DPS has almost reached its goal of hiring 50 new people to tackle the load, and four locations – two in Tulsa and two in OKC – are now open for extended hours.

Those locations, along with some surrounding tag agencies, will be the only ones issuing the Real IDs on April 30. Every week after that, more DPS and tag agency locations will open across the state. The locations offering the Real IDs will be listed on the DPS website.

After a location switches over and is offering Real ID, all of the forms of identification – including non-REAL ID compliant IDs and Driver's Licenses – obtained at that location will have to be sent from a central DPS location. Officials are asking people to plan ahead because receiving that ID could take five to seven business days.

Real ID also has not yet reached the Oklahoma Mobile ID app.

However there is an app that officials say can be helpful to people. Getting a Real ID will require two forms of proof of residence, a proof of social security number and proof of ID which would include a birth certificate.

Now the My Oklahoma app, released by OMES earlier this year, will allow people to order their birth certificate to be sent to their home, rather than having to go into an office to get it.

Stewart said getting everyone who needs to be compliant will be doable. Officials recommend making sure anyone who goes to a DPS office to get their Real ID check the DPS website to make sure they have everything necessary before going to wait in imminent lines.

"We’re looking at what’s happened in other states and expecting that it won’t be that different here because we are starting to issue so close to that federal deadline," Stewart said. "We do expect that there will be long lines so we want people to plan accordingly."


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