Thursday, February 18, 2010

Real ID in Nevada proposes radical changes to identity

c/o Las Vegas Review Journal ROAD WARRIOR

Ready or not, Real IDs eventually will replace all drivers licenses

As we have mentioned previously, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will be introducing the new Advanced Secure Issuance cards throughout the Las Vegas Valley later this month.

Real IDs will be available at the DMV office on West Flamingo Road beginning Monday, followed by the North Las Vegas office on Donovan Way on Feb. 23, the Henderson office on American Pacific Drive on Feb. 24, the North Las Vegas facility on Decatur Boulevard on Feb. 25 and the East Sahara Avenue office on Feb. 26.

Below, I have tried to address questions raised by readers and concerns aired by folks in Northern Nevada, where the DMV began issuing the cards earlier this month.

Our old driver's licenses were just fine. Why are they pushing these new Advanced Secure Issuance IDs on us?

In 2005, the 9/11 Commission recommended that states improve the security of their driver's licenses and identification cards to prevent identity theft and thwart terrorism. This is a voluntary program, but 45 states, including Nevada, have chosen to endorse it. Because of the new card's security features, it will be far more difficult for criminals to obtain counterfeit driver's licenses.

What exactly are these security features?

Actually, there are 15 security features on the card, but only a few of them will be made public: the background on the card, the gold star on the upper right corner, the micro-laser cut of the shape of the state, the bar code and the overprint of some of the text. These make it extremely difficult to counterfeit and show that the applicant has provided all of the proper documents and that the Department of Homeland Security has approved the issuance of the card for federal use, such as boarding an aircraft or entering a federal building where identification is required.

OK, when do I need to get one of these Real IDs?

This program will be phased in over the next seven years. If you were born before Dec. 1, 1964, the standard license in your wallet will be good until December 2017. If your birthday is after Dec. 1, 1964, you have until December 2014. Depending on where your birthday falls, your standard driver's license will be accepted to board airplanes and access federal buildings until the 2014 or 2017 deadline.

I don't want one of these funky licenses. Do I have to get one?

After 2014, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles will cease issuing the standard license, so, yes, eventually you will need one.

What do I need to bring to the DMV when I apply for this secure issuance card?

You will need two documents to prove your identity and two to prove your residency, the most notable change in requirements.

For identification purposes, you may bring a U.S. passport or a certified birth certificate and your Social Security card.

This is where it gets sticky: If you're married or have changed your name, you need to bring the documentation, such as a marriage certificate or adoption papers, to show this change.

If you've been married multiple times, you need to document each name change.

To prove residency, the DMV will accept a utility bill, mortgage statement, phone bill or rental agreement.

Other forms of accepted identification can be found on the DMV's Web site at

Will my military identification card work as a form of ID?

No. And this is where this seems strange: The DMV will not accept a military card because it can't electronically verify Department of Defense documents, but the airlines will continue to accept the card as a form of identification to board an airplane.

I no longer drive but still travel. Do I need to get one of these new ID's?

If you do not have a passport and wish to use a Nevada license, yes. You will need to get one before December 2014.

What if I have a teenager who has none of the residency documents required?

There is a declaration form that can be downloaded from the DMV Web site and notarized.

Is there some sort of radio frequency and identification chip embedded in the card?

No. The bar code only allows a law enforcement officer to check your information more efficiently and make sure it matches that listed on the front of the card.

I heard that these cards are the first step in creating a national data base for driver's license information. Is that true?

No. The information is used only by the state where the cards are issued.

ROAD WORK AHEAD ■ The intersection of Tee Pee Lane and Grand Teton Drive is expected to be closed for the next two weeks as gas lines are installed.

■ Ackerman Avenue will be closed between Durango Drive and El Capitan Way until Monday as the storm drain is repaired.

■ Main Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Owens Avenue in North Las Vegas will be closed until the end of the month.

■ Watch for lane restrictions on Durango Drive between Cheyenne Avenue and Alexander Road as the city repairs the asphalt. The restrictions will be in effect on weekdays for the next five months. Lane restrictions will also be in place on Alexander between Cimarron Road and U.S. Highway 95.

■ Lane restrictions are in place on Village Center Circle, on Hills Center Drive between Village Center and Lake Mead Boulevard, and on Town Center Drive between Village Center and Summerlin Parkway.

■ Expect lane closures and shifting on Craig Road for the next seven weeks as North Las Vegas starts converting the Craig Ranch Golf Course into a regional park.

■ Work continues on Neon Boneyard Park. During construction hours, which are between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., expect road closures on parts of McWilliams Avenue, Ninth Street and Encanto Drive.

■ Construction continues on Flamingo Road between Interstate 15 and Audrie Street. Flamingo is reduced to one lane at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Adrienne Packer at (702) 387-2904, or send an e-mail to Include your phone number.

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