Starting October 1, 2020 you’re going to need a Real ID or a passport to board any domestic flight in the United States. If you don’t already have one (a Real ID will have a gold or black star in the top-right corner), then acquiring one can be a potentially long and painful process.
Note: This is a Lifehacker US story. Head to Lifehacker Australia for AU-relevant stories.
Since everyone needs a new ID by October, lines at local DMVs have gotten pretty overwhelming. This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an update to the Real ID process that will hopefully cut down a bit on that wait time: now you can submit your proof of identity information online prior to your in-person meeting at the DMV.
You’re still going to have to physically go to the DMV to get that licence, but having all your paperwork approved ahead of time will hopefully streamline that process and cut down on the amount of time you have to spend there when you do. Submitting documents online cuts out the long process of manually scanning, copying, and filing paper materials on-site at your local DMV.
The DHS made the change based on feedback. While the ability to upload documents online is now an option, it’s also not a required one. Online document submission has to be implemented on a state level, which means your state may or may not decide to offer the option. You’ll be able to see whether your state allows online document submissions on your state DMV’s website.