The Kansas Dept. of Revenue Div. of Vehicles says that beginning May 3, 2023, anyone 18 years and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. So, without a REAL ID driver's license, you will need to carry a passport just to travel on a plane in the U.S.
In addition, a REAL ID will be required to enter federal facilities where identification is currently required for entrance. That includes Federal Buildings and military bases and nuclear power plants.
Here is what the Kansas REAL ID credential looks like:
This shows that there is a gold circle white star ("gold star") in the upper right-hand corner of the ID. That indicates that the holder of the ID has gone through the REAL ID documentation credentialing process.
Kansas does not show on its site what a REAL ID driver's license looks like. But it is likely the same as a regular driver's license, except with a gold circle white star ("gold star") in the upper right-hand corner. For example, look at the standard Kansas driver's license below.
Notice how the standard Kansas D.L. has a "Not for Federal ID" in the upper right-hand corner. That means you can't use the license to enter an airport boarding area, federal building, or military/nuclear facility.
And who wants to have this on their license? For example, it might be misinterpreted by some guard or building security person - they might think it is not an acceptable ID for other purposes. That is another reason why you might want to get a Kansas REAL ID driver's license or ID.
The REAL ID Act of 2005 required every state to review certain documents from their residents who want to obtain this REAL ID driver's license or ID card. These credentials show that the person is a lawful U.S. citizen or has a lawful right to be in the U.S. (with a visa, etc.), has a social security number, and has a residence in the state.
So, even though getting a REAL ID is optional by May 3, 2023, and showing it to the TSA at the airport (without having to show a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, or a military I.D. to get on a plane starting on May 3, 2023), you can always stick with a regular Kansas driver's license or ID.
For example, you don't need a REAL ID to vote, get federal assistance or other lawful purposes of the standard D.L.
Here is how you can obtain a REAL ID credential in Kansas.
How to Get a REAL ID in Kansas
It is not that hard to get a REAL ID license in Kansas. All you have to do is provide documents that prove the following:
1.) You will need to provide proof of lawful presence (just one from the list below):
- State Issued Birth Certificate
- Unexpired U.S. Passport
- Unexpired Permanent Resident Card
- Unexpired Employment Authorization Card
- Naturalization Certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240)
2.) You must provide proof of your Social Security Number (just one from the list below):
- Social Security Card
- Current W-2 or 1099 showing full Social Security Number
- Current pay stub showing full Social Security Number
3.) You must provide two proofs of your current Kansas residential address. Proof must be dated within the last year. Junk mail or personal letters will not be accepted.
- current driver's license
- utility bills
- vehicle registration
- bank statements
- renewal postcard
4.) If your name is different than the documents in number one above, (due to adoption, marriage, divorce, court-ordered name change, or is not the same on all of your documents) you MUST provide proof of the name change, such as:
- Certified State Issued Marriage Certificate
- Court Ordered Divorce Decree
- Any Court Ordered or Legal Name Change Documents
- Legal Adoption Paperwork
If you have additional questions, you can go to the Kansas Dept. of Revenue REAL ID FAQ page here to see if your questions are answered.
Bottom Line: Don't Procrastinate
You might not want to wait to either set an appointment to see the Div. of Vehicles office near you or go wait in line. Make sure to bring these documents.
Otherwise, you may find that the line to get these REAL ID credentials will be too long or take a long time starting next year, especially in the springtime when vacation travel picks up.
Remember you only have until May 3, 2023, before the TSA will require these at the airport.
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