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Are You Ready for REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established minimum security standards for license issuance and production as a result of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification.”  By October 1, 2020, everyone must have a REAL ID card, or an acceptable alternative, if they wish to travel by commercial aircraft or access federal facilities.  A few Virginia DMV “horror stories” heard around the office lately prompted this article to make sure you are ready for REAL ID.

All applicants for a REAL ID compliant credential must apply in person at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.  Even if you currently hold a valid Virginia driver’s license, you must apply in person for a REAL ID, and provide physical documentation of your identity, legal presence, full Social Security number, Virginia residency (two proofs required), and, if applicable, name change.

Your name must appear the same on all of your proof documents.  If your name does not appear the same on all proof documents, you will be asked to provide additional documentation to connect the names, such as a marriage certificate (a marriage license is not acceptable), divorce decree (if the divorce decree provides for the name change) and/or court order.  Documents submitted for proof of identity must include your full legal name and your date of birth, and can include: official birth document issued by a U.S. State, jurisdiction, or territory; valid unexpired U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport card; U.S. Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship.

All first time applicants or applicants whose Virginia credential has expired or been suspended, revoked or cancelled, will need to present proof of legal presence in the forms described above or listed here https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/dmv141.pdf for proof of identity.  For proof of Virginia residency, you must choose one from the primary list and one another from either the primary list or secondary list.  Some examples include: deed, mortgage statement or lease; voter registration card; Virginia driver’s license; and utility bills.

Although your Social Security number will not be displayed on your REAL ID, Virginia law requires that proof of it be submitted to DMV.  The proof you provide must show your name and all nine digits of your Social Security number.  Examples of acceptable documents include your Social Security card, W-2 form, or payroll stub.

Applicants who successfully complete the process will receive a temporary driving permit or an ID card receipt.  Your new license or ID card will be mailed within 7 to 10 days and will display a star in the top right corner.

Of course, if you choose not to apply for a REAL ID, you may still use your standard driver’s license or ID to drive, vote or register to vote, verify your identity at banks, utility companies and retail stores, and apply for federal benefits.  Also, as long as you have an alternative form of federally acceptable identification, such as a valid U.S. Passport, a U.S. Department of Defense ID Card, a Transportation Worker Identification Credential, etc., you may use it to board commercial aircraft and access federal facilities.

Ask Kit Kat: Nutria in North Carolina

Hook Law Center: Kit Kat, what are nutria, and why are they in North Carolina?

Kit Kat: Well, I must admit I didn’t know what nutria were until I read a recent article about them in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Nags Head, NC is having a particularly hard time right now with them, since this winter is unusually warm. Nutria are rodents that resemble a small beaver, have a rat-like tail, and large orange front teeth. They like to feed off plants in drainage ditches and wetland areas. The problem is that they eat so much of these plants, that ditches sometimes collapse and wetlands become open ponds. Nags Head town engineer, David Ryan, says the town tries very hard to maintain the ditches, which are used for drainage after big storms. Dealing with the nutria is like taking 2 steps forward, but 1 step backwards. The town tries to keep the nutria numbers down by trapping those they become aware of. Also, some homeowners hire their own pest control services or line driveway ditches with rock.

Nutria were brought to the United States to control certain plants and for their fur. They were introduced to Hatteras Island in the 1940s. Unfortunately, they are experts at reproducing. It is not unusual for them to have 4 litters a year, with as many as 12 pups! Also, nutria are quite aggressive, and are known to fight and even bite dogs. Muskrats, which are native to the area and much smaller, are no match for the nutria. So, Hatteras Island does indeed have quite a problem. Trapping appears the main way to curb their numbers, and it is legal to trap them year-round in eastern Virginia and North Carolina. Normally, I’m not in favor of eliminating types of animals, but in this case, it does appear justified. (Jeff Hampton, “Beaver-like nutria tearing up Nags Head ditches,” The Virginian-Pilot, January 9, 2020)

Posted in Senior Law News

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