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Tennessee begins issuing Real IDs: What you need to know

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 21:05:45-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The State of Tennessee will begin issuing new types of IDs on July 1.

Beginning October 1, 2020, all persons must have a REAL ID license for accessing Federal buildings, entering nuclear facilities, and boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

REAL IDs have a gold star labeled at the top right corner of a driver’s license. To get one, the state will need copies of your identification documents, such as a birth certificate.

The REAL ID act was passed in 2005 by congress after the 9/11 commission recommended a federal standard for identification be created.

"This is one of the initiatives to prevent terrorism," said Michael Hogan, director of Driver Services for the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security. "We all know what happened on 9/11. Those terrorists all had three credentials and those licenses from various states. This right here standardizes the issuance process. So, when individuals come in, we know who they are, we vet who they are and we verify the information they present to us."

This also makes licenses less susceptible to forgery because they'll require proof of residency.

The state law also requires you apply for your REAL ID in person instead of doing it online.

For more information and how to get one, visit the Department of Homeland Security's website.

Here's a look at the new Tennessee laws that went into effect July 1