TOPEKA, Kan. -- New licences and ID cards are now available to Kansas residents. On Tuesday the Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing the new cards to comply with Federal Real ID Act requirements.
"Kansas has been for several years compliant with the Real ID Law that was passed in 2005, but this week as of Tuesday we have begun issuing actual drivers licences with the star that shows that you are Real ID compliant," said Sam Williams, Secretary of Revenue for the state of Kansas.
The new ID cards have several enhanced security features and a new design, but the biggest change is a gold circle logo with a white star inside that appears on the top right side of the new ID cards. These new identification cards are optional for residents until October 1, 2020.
"What that means is with the use of this drivers licence you’ll be able to get onto a domestic airline flight with that document as of 2020. It also means that you can get on a military base or other federal facilities after 2022," Williams explained.
State transportation officials say the biggest question about the new ID's that has come up is whether you can still use your old state issued ID to board an airplane.
"There’s some confusion because the department of homeland security has put out a January 2018 date, that they’ve said we’re going to start checking, and if you’re not a compliant state, you can’t get on an aircraft. That’s for states that aren’t compliant. Since Kansas is compliant, they can get on an airplane," said Lisa Kaspar, Director of Vehicles for the state of Kansas.
"When the congress passed the Real ID law back in 2005, some states jumped on and got on board and others were slower," Kaspar explained.
"In Kansas the legislature passed a law in 2007, so we were right behind the congress. At that point we started preparing, and even though there were some delays in enforcement, we started collecting documents, changed our processes, started training our examiners and did the things that are required as part of the act. The only thing we had not done is put the star on the licence, up until now," she added.
Although the deadline is still three years away, state officials say getting on board with the new law early will help cut costs and lessen confusion as the 2020 deadline approaches.
"Kansas tries to lead and this is an important way for us to show that were providing services as the law requires in a timely and efficient manner," said WIlliams.
To get a new ID you must bring your social security card and passport or birth certificate with you to the DMV. Once all of the required paperwork is filed, your ID card will be mailed within 10 business days.
Missouri is one of a handful of states that is not yet compliant with the Real ID act. In June Governor Eric Greitens signed a bill that will take effect on August 28, 2017 that is designed to bring Missouri in compliance with the act.