New Jersey Readies For REAL ID, New Approval Needed To Fly Within U.S.

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/05/07/new-jersey-readies-for-real-id-new-approval-needed-to-fly-within-u-s/amp/

Starting in October 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID as a standard driver’s license will no longer get someone onto a commercial flight.

While states like New York and Connecticut are already issuing them, New Jersey has not, reports CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Joel Cortes of Jersey City just got his very first driver’s license. He was surprised to learn he’s likely going to need a new one if he wants fly instead of drive.

Effective nationwide in October of 2020, people won’t be allowed to fly commercially or enter certain federal facilities with a driver’s license or ID that is not REAL ID compliant unless they have a passport or military ID.

Today the head of New Jersey’s motor vehicle commission says it will start rolling it out in June.

“Unless we complete our REAL ID readiness projects, we will not have the capacity to handle the demands of REAL ID availability,” said Sue Fulton, chief administrator of the New Jersey Vehicle Commission.

The commission says the Department of Homeland Security gave the state extensions on its compliance deadline so it could prepare for Real ID, including changes such as:

  • Upgrading online services.
  • Upgrading its servers, computers software, and point of sale system.
  • Expanding its new ticket queuing system.
  • Increasing staffing and changing business hours to extend weekend availability.

Starting in June only one motor vehicle location will be issuing the REAL ID, but that location not yet been disclosed.

“Obviously it’s going to be incredibly crowded in those locations,” said Debbi Cooper of Glouster County. “And for those of us that work full-time that’s going to be incredibly inconvenient as well because everybody has to do it.”

Cooper just got her new driver’s license last week and is annoyed she’ll have to pay another fee to get a REAL ID for her frequently flying.

“You do what you have to do obviously,” she said. “But it is a pain in the neck.”

The Motor Vehicle Commission says people like Cooper who have an unexpired license will not have to pay the full $26 fee for a new REAL ID driver’s license. They will just have to pay an $11 change fee for the upgrade.