Ask Finney: REAL ID date confusion, reactivate expired air miles, unclaimed bank funds

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7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

7 On Your Side's Consumer Expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

Bill from Albany asks: Do people in California have until October 2018 or October 2020 to comply with the Real ID requirements? I see two different dates from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Answer 1:

The federal government is toughening its ID requirements for travelers flying domestically. The October 2018 deadline is for the California Department of Motor Vehicles to meet the new REAL ID standard. The 2020 date is for fliers actually getting on a plane. After that date, you cannot board unless you have a REAL ID compliant driver's license, passport, or other accepted federal identification. The good news? As of January 22, 2018, the DMV has been issuing the new "REAL ID" compliant driver's licenses and identification cards.

Here are web links to the Department of Homeland Security's website, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Transportation Security Administration.

Question 2:

Paul asks: I had more than 73,000 air miles with Hawaiian Airlines, which have expired. Is there any way to reclaim them without having to purchase 10 percent of my expired points to get all of the points reactivated?

Answer 2:
Probably not. Most airlines and other point programs have a time period where you have to interact with your account, either adding or using points. With Hawaiian Airlines, it's 18 months. Hawaiian Airline's workaround is that if you purchase 10 percent of your expired points, they will reactive the whole amount. That is actually a great deal, but it does not hurt to ask the airlines if they will waive the rule in this one case.

Here is a link to Hawaiian Airlines' Air Miles page.

Question 3:

Norma from San Francisco asks: My bank was sold 15 years ago, and I don't know where to get my money?

Answer 3:

OK, there are two ways to go with this. First, check with the successor bank and see if they have your money. If you don't know who that is, call my hotline and we will track it down for you. It is more likely that whoever bought out your bank has probably turned your account over the state of California. The state holds on to your money and waits for your to claim it. The easiest way is to check Unclaimed.Org. Again, if you need help, just call my hotline at 415-954-8151. We are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Or you can contact me here.

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