Some tag agencies in Mustang and Yukon are facing challenges with the transition to Real IDs, the new license that will be the only form accepted to fly beginning Oct. 1, 2021.
“You can’t just walk in, get it done and walk out in a few minutes like you’ve been able to,” said Oklahoma Tag of Yukon agent Jim Kitch.
Like Kitch, Mustang Tag Agency agent Boone VonTungeln said he’s had more customers come in mad than ever before, due to frustrations with Real ID requirements.
“There’s nothing I can do,” said VonTungeln. “My only response to them is, ‘if you don’t like it, then you need to call your legislator.’ We were given zero input, as to what was going to happen.”
He said his agency, which was among the first in Canadian County to become Real ID compliant, processes about 14 IDs a day, leaving about 30 people a day who they cannot get to.
Mondays and Fridays are the agency’s busiest days.
“About half or more than half (of the people who come in), we don’t have time to do,” he said. “There’ll be a third or half of the people who come through the door who don’t have the documentation we need.”
On average, VonTungeln said it takes about 20 minutes to process a Real ID. However, if someone does not bring in the required documentation, the process is longer.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, some states may impose different requirements for their tag agencies.
The minimum documentation required to get a Real ID is to show: legal name, date of birth, social security number, two proofs of address and lawful status.
If someone does not possess a Social Security card, they may show a W-2 form, an SSA-1099 form, a non-SSA-1099 form or a pay stub with their name and social security number on it.
Additionally, people must bring the legal documents each time their name is changed.
For example, if a female has been married three times, she must show three marriage licenses and two divorce degrees.
These requirements are true to Mustang Tag Agency and Oklahoma Tag of Yukon. DHS recommends checking with a desired tag agency regarding their requirements.
If a documentation problem arises, the agencies’ workers must call a help desk, which could take up to two hours, VonTungeln said.
The workers can also not go back and forth between customers when an issue occurs.
Oklahoma Sen. Michael Brooks observed the Real ID process Wednesday at Mustang Tag Agency.
Brooks said it’s important for people to be aware of the documents required to obtain a Real ID, as well as having the choice to keep their non-compliant license.
“I think it’s absolutely imperative for people, who value their privacy that there remains an alternative, where you can get a non-compliant license,” said Brooks.
Mustang Tag Agency customers may make an appointment by going to oktagagent.com.
Currently, the agency is booking appointments out to January.
“It’s made it very inconvenient for customers, which is frustrating to us,” Kitch said.
The longer processing time of Real IDs has led Oklahoma Tag of Yukon to also book appointments.
Kitch said they’re booking customers about two weeks in advance.
For Oklahoma Tag of Yukon, about 15 to 20 Real IDs are processed a day and Kitch said their busiest times are at the end of the month.
He also said his agency is seeing more people come in to change to a Real ID because more people are aware of the compliant license change.
Oklahoma Tag of Yukon was notified by the Department of Public Safety about a month or two in advance as to the change to Real IDs, Kitch said.
Once his agency was set to receive the new Real ID equipment Aug. 21, two of Kitch’s workers were trained the week before the equipment arrived.
A DPS employee helped Kitch’s agency the first day using the equipment.
It was a rocky start because of glitches occurring when his workers tried to scan in documents, he said.
Tag agency workers must also be certified to process Real IDs.
Each worker must undergo an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation background check; eight hours of online training through DPS and an all-day in-person training to learn the equipment.
Of Kitch’s five workers, only two have been trained, due to capacity limitation at DPS.
This also places constraints on what agency workers can do for customers, he said.
“The other main change that people don’t know about is when you leave a tag agency or DPS, you’re going to leave with a piece of paper that’s supposed to serve as your driver’s license until such time as one can be sent off to another state, where the actual driver’s license is produced, then it gets mailed to you,” VonTungeln said.
Some people don’t receive their Real IDs in the mail until two weeks later, Kitch said.
He also said certain banks are not accepting the paper that tag agencies provide customers as their license until their Real ID arrives in the mail.
Other issues include some driving schools, like Brown’s Driving School, not being on the new system to process Real IDs, VonTungeln said.
Brown’s Driving School examiner Lowell Harkey said once a driver passes their license exam, they go to a non-compliant agency, like Piedmont to receive their driver’s license.
“It’s an inconvenience for everyone,” said Harkey.
Mustang Tag Agency is also one of several that still processes non-compliant licenses.
Other agency locations include Choctaw, Piedmont and DPS.
It is $38.50 to upgrade a non-compliant license to a Real ID.
Travelers who don’t have a Real ID next year will not pass through airports’ security checkpoints.
However, people may still show their passports and permanent residency cards after the Oct. 1, 2021 deadline to fly commercially, DPS says.
Transportation Security Administration does not require minors under 18 to provide ID when traveling with a companion within the U.S.
The physical difference of Real IDs is a marking in the upper portion of the card.
One of five different markings may be placed on a Real ID, such as a gold star, a black star, a gold circle with a white star inside it, a black circle with a white star inside and a gold polar bear with a white star on its backside.
DHS’ website says the purpose of the Real ID Act is to establish minimum security standards of “accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants and boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.”
The intent of Real IDs is to prohibit terrorists from evading detection by using fraudulent identification, according to DPS’ website.
The act was passed in 2005 by Congress, and since March 26, 52 states and territories are Real ID compliant.