By DAVID CARKHUFF, LACONIA DAILY SUN
When the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles began offering driver's licenses that are compliant with the federal Real ID act on Tuesday, Jan. 3, response was muted.
"It's going quite well. We've been offering it since Tuesday. Some people are opting in, some aren't," said Larry Crowe, public information officer for the DMV in Concord. "It appears people are doing their renewals as usual, which we're thankful for because we don't want really long lines."
Residents are not required to obtain Real ID-compliant driver's licenses. "Other forms of identification, such as a passport, will be accepted for domestic air travel and for other federal purposes, such as entering secure federal facilities," the DMV explains at www.nh.gov/dmv.
"It's strictly opt in. It's not required," Crowe said. "As renewal dates come up, people can make that choice."
But starting Oct. 1, 2020, every traveler from New Hampshire will need to present a Real ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel.
The 2005 federal Real ID act created these standards, prompting push back from some states.
"States at different rates of speed have been adopting it as we go along," Crowe said. Maine and New Hampshire were early holdouts (Maine legislators continue to debate whether to bring the state into line with the federal law).
Last year, the New Hampshire Legislature voted to allow the opt-in option for constituents. Legislators have received assurances that the federal government does not plan to store information gathered via the Real ID act.
The Department of Homeland Security reports, "REAL ID does not create a federal database of driver license information. Each jurisdiction continues to issue its own unique license, maintains its own records, and controls who gets access to those records and under what circumstances. The purpose of REAL ID is to make our identity documents more consistent and secure."
The information gathered at DMV offices will be held by the state and not by the federal government based on regulatory guidance from the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the DMV, the requirements for a Real ID-compliant driver's license are as follows:
• For proof of identity: An original or certified copy of your birth certificate; or certificate of naturalization; or a valid unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. passport card.
• For proof of Social Security number: a Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration; or a paystub with full Social Security number; or a W-2 statement with full Social Security Number for the current year; or a 1099 statement with full Social Security number for the current year.
• For proof of residency, two of the following are required: valid, non-expired New Hampshire driver's license or non-driver ID card; a title application prepared by a town or city clerk or tax collector (must not be marked "non resident"); valid New Hampshire vehicle registration certificate (boat registration is not acceptable); lease, rental agreement or deed (properly signed by both parties); property tax (real estate) bill for the current year at the address provided; direct verification by a parent or guardian (if parent or guardian is not present, verification must be notarized); and within the past 60 days, a notarized letter from a property owner or current resident at the address provided; a mortgage statement at the property address provided; any current utility bill or delivery of service bill with "For Service At" address provided; a government check or a government document issued by an official in the municipality of residence, or a payroll check, payroll document, or employment contract.