Letters to the Editor: Have a passport? Then you don’t need a Real ID beginning Oct. 1

South Los Angeles DMV
A line of people wait to be helped at DMV office in South L.A. on Aug. 7, 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It is not “federally required” that anyone (much less everyone) has a Real ID-compliant driver license by Oct. 1. It is true that new ID standards will become effective for boarding domestic airline flights and entering U.S. military bases and some other facilities, with the result that regular California driver‘s licenses will no longer be accepted.

But, a Real ID-compliant license is only one of 15 acceptable forms of identification, including a U.S. passport.

When a California resident applies for a driver‘s license or a renewal, getting a Real ID-compliant card is voluntary. Doing so requires more paperwork and takes longer. One can still get a regular license, as I did when I renewed mine last year. It is thus not clear how much of the so-called shortfall in the DMV issuance rate is due to residents intentionally declining Real ID-compliant licenses.

The truth is that nobody is required to get a Real ID-compliant license from the DMV. Those of us who want to fly or visit military bases can simply bring one of the many other accepted forms of ID.


Larry D’Addario, Pasadena


To the editor: I am not an apologist for the DMV, but my experience with obtaining a Real ID license was excellent.

I scheduled an appointment with the Pasadena office in December. Since I submitted my application online and brought in the required documents, I was in and out within 30 minutes after my arrival (including having my picture taken for the ID).

I received the Real ID-compliant card the first week of January.

Eileen Lau, La Crescenta


To the editor: The real choke point will be at airports after Oct. 1 in the security lines where U.S. Transportation Security Administration workers check ID.

Human nature tells us that turning away a passenger with an airline ticket and without a Real ID card or passport is not going to go smoothly or swiftly. Best to factor in delay in TSA security lines to your travel itinerary beginning Oct. 1.


Martin Conoley, Santa Barbara