Local News

Prepare to show more proof when you renew your NC license

Posted April 26
Updated May 1

— North Carolinians now have the option of getting a driver's license or identification card through the state Division of Motor Vehicles that complies with the more stringent standards of the federal REAL ID.

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Beginning in 2020, a REAL ID will be required for commercial air travel and for visitors to federal buildings, military installations and nuclear facilities.

Older, non-REAL ID driver's licenses and identification will remain valid but will require additional supporting material to be used for air travel and federal facility access.

To apply for a REAL ID, North Carolinians must visit a DMV driver's license office and provide:

  • One document that proves identity, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or immigration documents
  • One document that verifies birth, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or immigration documents
  • One document that confirms a Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or W-2 form
  • Two documents that establish residency in North Carolina, such as a utility bill, vehicle registration card or bank statement

Identification that meets the REAL ID standards will bear a gold star. All other licenses and identification cards will read "Not for Federal Identification."

A REAL ID will not permit direct access to Fort Bragg or other military installations – people still have to get visitor passes – but it will save time getting a pass.

"I have to give him my registration and ID, and then they do a background check before they allowed me to go any further," Fayetteville resident Felicia Braswell said of going on post. "That [REAL ID] would eliminate a whole lot of it, so I'd be glad to have that."

A REAL ID will cost $13 for people seeking a duplicate license, or they can wait to obtain one when renewing their licenses, authorities said.


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  • Rick Fetter May 1, 8:47 p.m.
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    I guess driving is greater right that needs protecting over voting. At least to some people. And by those people's standards it must be a racist thing right?

  • John Archer May 1, 7:54 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    You will need the new ID to enter any Federal facility or to fly. So pretty much everyone needs to have it. And as was already stated, poor people may not have bank accounts, cars, utility bills in their name, etc. Many employers do not give out W2s, and it can cost $25 and up to get an official copy of your birth certificate. For lots of people, that's a lot of money.

  • Pam Snyder May 1, 6:59 p.m.
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    More to blame on Trump. Same stuff you needed before

  • Henry Cooper Apr 27, 2:13 p.m.
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    If someone only has one ID and no utilities or bank accounts they will have little to no use for the the Fed level ID most likely or already have something else (passport, birth cert, etc).

    A W-2 was one of the docs. So if you have a job you will have that.

    For those on govt programs there are already two ID's required to get assistance and they must have also established NC residency via multiple docs described. Legal Immigration documents are listed so legal immigrants should be covered.

    There is already a federal reg mandating states set up a program for replacement birth certificates for those born in that state. Here is the NC one (http://vitalrecords.nc.gov/order.htm).

    Again it just seems there is a way to address the shortcomings that anyone (not just the poor) may have without any unreasonable burden.

  • Karen Hahn Apr 27, 1:25 p.m.
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    "Two documents that establish residency in North Carolina, such as a utility bill, vehicle registration card, or bank statement." What if you don't have any utility bills (e.g., rent a room from someone else), don't have a car (too poor to afford one or just chose not to have one - take the bus to work) and don't have a bank account (could be married and everything in spouses name . . . ) OR have only one bank account so you don't have 2 things to show residency.

    It's not hard to find scenarios that will make it a PIA to get an ID. Heck, I have all of the required documents and would STILL think it's a PIA to pull all that together. Plus, it seems WAY too big brotherish for my taste.

  • Henry Cooper Apr 27, 1:18 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    But how does any of this cause it to be more difficult for the poor? That was the core of the question. Does that additional document put some kind of extreme burden on them?

    As far as not using your own name and using a deposit for power and other utilities. Some are concerned with their digital footprint. The more places your personal info is stored the more chance of ID theft. Yahoo was the latest folks to own up to a massive compromise of personal data. Duke power does not report to credit agencies anymore so whats the point? Many choose to take the extra layer of protection since there is no real benefit to them having your personal info.

  • Rod Runner Apr 27, 12:30 p.m.
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    Since when does uneducated mean not having an advanced degree? Is a high school diploma an advanced degree? Is almost finishing 8th grade an advanced degree? You made a big leap there.

    Poor and uneducated generally go hand in hand. The requirement of a utility bill, bank statement, or car registration, while necessary in absence of any other proof of residency, is a hard requirement for the poor/uneducated. Many poor may not have their own utility bills, because they live with someone else with means. Or they may not have a bank account because banks do credit checks and they don't qualify. And they generally don't have their own cars, they're poor. Many poor are homeless. How do you prove residency when homeless? Did someone educate them on how to prove residency besides having a bill?

    Also, there were people born, decades ago, in rural places, no hospital, that did not get birth certificates. Very difficult for them.

  • Rod Runner Apr 27, 11:31 a.m.
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    The qualifying secondary documents still have to be shown with the primary documents. You don't walk in with just a utility bill to prove your name.

    The utility bill is to prove your residency in NC. Otherwise, anyone can just get a NC DL with only showing a birth certificate and SS card.

    So if you also have a birth certificate that says your are Mickey Mouse and you also have a SS card that says your are Mickey Mouse, and then you have a utility bill and a car registration that says you are Mickey Mouse, then you can get a DL that says Mickey Mouse on it.

    So no, the documents are not "liberal" when combined with the others.

  • Ben Hill Apr 27, 11:20 a.m.
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    I'm not a white nationalist and I do not see this connection.

    Are you claiming that that are poor or do not possess an advanced degree are incapable of getting a photo ID? If so, could you explain how this group is singled out from anyone else in the general population?

  • Jim Dunn Apr 27, 7:14 a.m.
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    It doesn't impact the poor. There are plenty of services to assist them.

    Just the standard cry of liberals.