By Suet Lee-Growney, Fort Riley Public AffairsDecember 1, 2017
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- In a hypothetical situation, three non-Department of Defense identification holders walk into Fort Riley's Visitor Control Center with three different Kansas driver's license: one issued before August of this year, another after August with a star on the top right corner and the other issued post-August without a star on the top. All three of them do not produce a secondary form of identification thinking their driver's license alone will allow them onto a military installation.
All but one were allowed access. The person with the new Kansas driver's license without the star on the top right corner is holding an identification that is not compliant with the federal Real ID Act. That ID is eligible for identification purposes and driving, but not to board domestic flights, for federal use or for entering a military installation.
Older licenses are compliant with the federal act and therefore those ID holders get to enjoy the perks of the Real ID compliance.
According to Kent Selk, commercial driver's license manager at Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka, Kansas, the two new card designs came out a few months ago and now people have the preference to choose which ones they want to own.
"In August 1 of 2017 we rolled out a new card design and with that new card design, we also pulled out a Real ID indicator on the top right hand corner," Selk said. "Kansas has been in Real ID compliance since 2010, but now people have a choice if they want to go through the extra steps of having a driver's license that is Real ID compliant or not … if you want a Real ID license, we are not forcing you to, you can get one that says 'Not for federal use' that is still good for driving privileges and identification privileges, but just not allowed to board an airplane for travel and doesn't allow you on to federal facility like military bases."
When renewing or obtaining a Kansas driver's license with Real ID Act compliance, what someone needs to do is bring their social security card and proof of citizenship or residence, Selk said. Kansas Department of Revenue will also accept other forms that prove of social security such pay stubs and tax forms.
"If the name on your birth certificate does not match your current name, (you) have to bring in (your) marriage license or any legal name change document to show what name you have currently," he said. "We do not take photocopies and we also do not take laminated copies."
Selk said the benefit of going through the trouble of getting a driver's license is being compliant with the federal Real ID act the first time around so ID holders do not have to go through the hassle of bringing all the extra paperwork the next time.
"The other one with a star in the corner is a one-time, so once you do it to obtain the (Real ID) indicator, you are not required to bring it back to for documentation in your next renewal after that -- it's set for life," he said.
Mark Dombrowski, security branch chief with Directorate of Emergency Services, said it is important for members of the Fort Riley military community, who are going to the Department of Motor Vehicles to know their options before showing up and bring proper documentation.
"People need to have situational awareness that when they are at the DMV, they need to ensure they get the Real ID Act compliant identification because that identification will let them enter federal facilities whether on post or off post; we are talking about courthouses and things of that nature," Dombrowski said. "And we are also talking about with this is what is required to get on airplanes for domestic travel. It is important for them to go ahead and get the right ID when they have the opportunity."
There is no extra cost of getting the Real ID compliant license. However, according to Selk, there will be an extra cost to upgrade a non-compliant ID to one with the Real ID star for IDs acquired after Aug. 1 depending on the location of the DMV. But driver's license applicants can be assured DMV staff will tell them during their application of differences in the IDs and how it will affect the ID holder, said Dombrowski.
"Now if they don't bring those (extra) identifications, the things that the DMV does is that tell them that 'well, we can't give you the REAL ID identification, but we can give you the one that's not for federal ID purposes,'" Dombrowski said. "And since the individual doesn't understand the difference at that point, and they just want a driver's license because they've already waited X amount of time at the DMV, they opt to go ahead and get that quick ID and when they come to the installation, that's when they find out that they can't use it alone for access."
However, if a person holds a driver's license that is not federal Real ID act compliant, they can still enter the installation by providing a secondary form or identification. According to Dombrowski, the access page on Fort Riley's website lists these papers as acceptable forms of secondary proof of identification:
• U.S. passport
• Permanent resident card/Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form 1-551)
• Foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp
• Visa or an employment authorization document that contains a photograph (Form I-766)
For more information, call the Visitor Control Center at 785-239-2982 or 785-239-3138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.