HOUSTON — Long wait times have become such a big problem at driver's license centers across Texas that even the governor is ordering the Department of Public Safety to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Starting in October 2020, driver licenses will need to meet tougher requirements to be used to fly domestically. It’s part of the Real ID Act Congress passed in response to 9/11 to set uniform standards for state ID cards used to prove identity to access federal facilities, including TSA security checkpoints.
Texas started issuing their Real ID-compliant driver licenses in October 2016. They feature a gold circle with a star imprint.
Christian B. emailed the KHOU Verify team asking, "Is the new driver's license required by October 2020 for travel available online? This would be a major relief to the long lines at expected at the DMV."
KHOU went to the Texas Department of Public Safety's page on the new Real ID Act. Under the frequently asked questions section, they walk drivers through how to get a license that's compliant based on their current card’s expiration date, saying in one section, "you can request a duplicate card either in person or through Texas.gov."
The page also tells drivers to go to Texas.gov to see if they're eligible to renew online.
KHOU can verify it is possible to get a Real ID-compliant driver license online in Texas, though not everyone will be eligible.
Travelers without a Real ID-compliant driver license will still be able to fly in October 2020 using their passport and other certain documents.
Old driver licenses will also still be valid for state-related purposes like driving, banking, and voting.
ALSO POPULAR ON KHOU.COM