Q: What is the best time of day to go to the DMV and get a Real ID and do you need an appointment? Can you get it at any location? What documents do you need to bring to get a Real ID? If you don’t have one by October, can you still fly with a driver’s license and a passport?


Answer: The best times vary, but your best bet is to contact your local office to schedule an appointment, according to John Brockwell, a spokesman for the Division of Motor Vehicles.

“However, customers need to be aware that some offices have a backlog of appointments for several weeks,” he said.

The DMV is holding 10 “Real ID Express Days” on Saturdays through early May in several cities, including Kernersville, when they will be providing service of only Real ID express transactions. The events at the Kernersville office, at 810-A N. Main St., will be March 7 and April 4. Other events will be held in Durham, Charlotte, Raleigh, Concord, Greenville and Garner. The Real ID Express Day events are all first-come, first-served, and you cannot make reservations for those. Each event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To get a Real ID card, you will need one document providing identity and date of birth; one document confirming your Social Security Number (such as a Social Security card or your W-2 form); and two documents with current physical address proving North Carolina residency (such as a voter precinct card, vehicle registration card, utility or cable bill, or other items). For non-U.S. citizens, you will also need one document with full name proving legal presence/lawful status. If your name differs from the name on your documents, you will need a document verifying your name change.

Real IDs are optional, Brockwell said, and are an enhancement to your driver’s license, not a separate card. As for flying, a valid U.S. passport supersedes a Real ID. “So, if a customer maintains a valid US passport to show TSA at airports, they do not need a Real ID,” Brockwell said. “Real IDs or valid passports will also be required to enter a U.S. military installation, a nuclear power facility and some designated federal buildings.”

You do not need a Real ID to drive, vote, apply for or receive federal benefits, enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (such as a post office), access a hospital, or participate in law enforcement proceedings such as serving on a jury or testifying in federal court.

In addition to boarding a commercial plane, they will be required for visiting nuclear sites, military bases, or federal courthouses, prisons or other federal facilities. Individuals without a Real ID or passport will need to provide additional documentation with their traditional license or ID. You can find more information on what is required by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

More details on North Carolina’s Real ID requirements can be found at ncrealid.gov.

Online: journalnow.com/asksam

Write: Ask SAM, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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