Real ID cards available in California come with controversy

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Monday is the first day California is issuing federal real ID cards. Beginning October 1, 2020, driver's licenses and identification cards will need to be "Real ID-compliant" for anyone boarding a domestic flight.

"It's the first day in the roll-out and so far things are going pretty smoothly," said CA Department of Motor Vehicles Spokesperson Artemio Armenta.

U.S. passports, military ID cards and other TSA approved IDs will still be accepted at airports.

The change is not welcomed by everyone.

"The main point of the Real ID act is to threaten and intimidate states into participating in a national ID database," said Edward Hasbrouck with "The Identity Project."

For some, there are privacy concerns about information that could be uploaded to that database.

"Probably would and could be used for immigration enforcement, witch hunting of people whose citizenship would be challenged," said Hasbrouck.

At the DMV, the focus Monday was on making sure people knew they can now apply for a federal real ID card and how to go about doing it. You must apply in person.

Customers need to show proof of identity, proof of social security and proof of residence.

Proof of identity documents include a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card or foreign passport with approved form I-94

An original or certified copy of a name change document, like a marriage or divorce certificate may also be needed.

"Sort of a mad rush to make sure that I have all the different documents required in order to complete this," said Finn Banks, a Palo Alto resident.

"There's a lot of different documents needed and we made sure to bring backups of some of them, especially like the social security information and proof of residency," said William Starek who was also at the DMV.

You will not need a federally compliant Real ID to drive, apply for or receive federal benefits, enter a federal facility that doesn't require an ID or visit a hospital.
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