Oklahoma to begin issuing REAL IDs next week

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Although the coronavirus pandemic slowed down the state’s progress toward becoming REAL ID compliant, state leaders say Oklahomans will soon be able to get those identification cards.

As the coronavirus pandemic spread across the globe, state officials soon realized that it would not be safe to allow thousands of Oklahomans to gather at DPS facilities for the REAL ID process.

Although the initial plans were to have REAL ID systems in place in certain locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa in April, state leaders say those plans were delayed a little.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety announced that it would begin issuing REAL IDs to the public on Monday, June 29 at select locations.

Residents will be able to get REAL IDs at the main DPS location, located at 3600 N. Martin Luther King Ave., and the Edmond DPS location at 28 E. Main Street.

Photo of REAL ID approved Oklahoma license
Photo of REAL ID approved Oklahoma license

On Monday, crews will begin installing new equipment at two Edmond tag agencies, the Edmond Tag Agency at 2 W. First Street, and Broadway Tag Agency, at 3900 S. Broadway.

Officials say those tag agencies will be able to provide REAL IDs by mid-morning.

On Tuesday, the equipment will be installed at Santa Fe Tag Agency, at 338 S. Santa Fe Ave., and Woodcrest Tag Agency, at 14700 S. Coltrane Rd.

Oklahomans can make an appointment online or choose to walk-in. However, DPS is requiring masks inside all facilities as well as limiting the number of people inside to allow for social distancing.

Officials say if your license is not expiring, you should consider waiting to get a REAL ID.

Real ID

The REAL ID Act was put in place in 2005 to improve the reliability of state-issued ID’s, making it harder for terrorists to obtain fake identification.

In 2007, Oklahoma passed a law that said our state wouldn’t comply with the REAL ID Act, citing concerns about how residents’ information was stored.

Over the last few years, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given Oklahoma several extensions to meet the requirements in the REAL ID Act.

Oklahoma driver's license

In 2017, House Bill 1845 was signed into law, which would give Oklahomans the choice of either getting a REAL ID-compliant license or keeping their current Oklahoma driver’s license. Oklahoma is still one of just a few states that are not REAL ID-compliant.

Initially, officials with the TSA said that the REAL ID Act would be in full effect at airports and government facilities across the country in October.

However, the coronavirus pandemic caused national officials to push back the deadline until October of 2021.

“The federal state and local response to the spread of #coronavirus here in the US necessitates a delay in this deadline,” Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced on Twitter.

Long lines at TSA in airport

Oklahomans will need to provide proof of identity, proof of Social Security, and two proofs of residency in order to obtain a REAL ID.

Officials stress that even if you are renewing your license, you will need to show those documents. If you don’t have those documents on hand, state leaders say you should start working to obtain them as quickly as possible.

To learn more about what you’ll need, visit the REAL ID website.

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