You really need a Real ID, for real. We, as Oklahomans, have been told this by the federal government for quite a while, but now it’s crunch time. A deadline of Oct. 1 is rapidly approaching, where thereafter a Real ID will be required for airline travel and access to federal sites.
Booking an appointment and navigating the Department of Public Safety and/or your local tag agency, a Herculean task in normal times, has now become something you’ll tell your grandkids about, if you somehow succeed.
Admittedly, I didn’t understand the purpose of Real ID before this past week, so I did some digging on the subject. The official website that is supposed to provide Oklahomans with information in this area seems surprisingly … devoid of information. Under the section titled, “What is Real ID?” it gives a physical, and quite literal explanation of the difference is: a gold star on your license. That’s it.
Well, Google is always the next best avenue, and as I was looking over the search results, a “post 9/11” tint suddenly covered my screen. It’s been a long time now, but I vaguely remember the string of laws, agencies and committees that came about in the years just after the attacks. The Real ID Act was one of those, passed by Congress all the way back in 2005. Essentially it standardizes identification cards, and supposedly makes them more secure, although I couldn’t find much info on how it does that. If I felt like jumping through more hoops to research it, I’m sure I could find the specific technological details.
I can tell you from experience that there’s a certain plumber who jumps through countless hoops (and pipes) to get gold stars, and he always seems to have a good attitude at the end of it. So take it from Mario, you’ll get there eventually. Just be careful which mushrooms you eat.
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