The State of Ohio quietly changed its driver’s license on July 2, 2018 – and most people don’t know anything about it. Two options are now available: the Compliant or Standard version. What’s the difference?
Before you waste a trip to the BMV, check out our guide below:
In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act, which set minimum security standards for sources of identification – including driver’s licenses. The law sets forth requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, as defined by the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Airport security is controlled by the TSA, which is a federal agency. In other words, you will need a Real ID-compliant license to board an airplane, effective October 1, 2020.
Getting a Compliant License
The process begins at your local BMV – just as it always has. However, you will need to present additional documents in order to obtain a Real ID-compliant Ohio driver’s license. Here are the six categories of identity verification required:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Proof of U.S. Legal Presence
- Social Security Number
- Proof of Address (two documents required)
- Legal name change (if applicable)
The state has published a list of acceptable documents for each category here. 1-4 can be satisfied with a Birth Certificate and Social Security Card. A recent copy of two utility bills and/or bank statement can be used for #5. The most annoying of these is #6 – married women whose last name does not match their Birth Certificate will have to present their Marriage License.
You won’t leave the BMV with a new compliant license. It will arrive by mail in a plain white envelope about 10 days later.
Do I Need a Compliant License?
If you plan to fly – yes. Just keep in mind that you don’t need to rush out and get a Real ID compliant license right away. The current Ohio driver’s license is still compliant until October 1, 2020. However, if your license renews between now and then, you should go ahead and upgrade.
Real ID does NOT apply to the following:
- Entering federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
- Voting or registering to vote
- Applying or receiving federal benefits
- Being licensed by a state to drive
- Accessing health or life-preserving facilities (like clinics or hospitals)
- Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations
In other words, you won’t need the “new” license to vote or apply for student loans. You can still opt for the standard Ohio driver’s license.