Identifying change: What the new ID cards mean - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Identifying change: What the new ID cards mean

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Homeland security is at the heart of a new ID being issued by the federal government.

The DMV began issuing Real IDs about a month ago.  "This comes out of the Real ID Act from 2005 so we have been trying to stage this for the last several years because it is a lot of changes for customers," said Wisconsin DMV Field Services Director Kristina Boardman.

Among the changes is a new laser engraving designed to make the ID much harder to copy, but that's not all.  "You will notice that there is a gold and white star in the upper right-hand corner and that design is designated from the Department of Homeland Security so they know what to look for," said Boardman.

This is another way to ensure you are who you say you are on federal property.  You will eventually need the Real ID card to get into a federal building or an airport.  The new card won't cost you any more than what it would to renew your license.  You simply fill out some paperwork and you are on your way.  The cards are made at one location in the state and then mailed out to residents.

"We are trying to alert all customers, especially those that are up for renewal.  They are getting a letter in the mail that indicates when you come in for your renewal, there is going to be a choice that you can make," said Boardman.

The DMV is advising those who come in to get it done now.

"We are encouraging people if they are coming in now knowing this is an eight-year product, there is a good chance that they will be enforcing it at the federal level within the next eight years.  So, rather than make a separate trip in mid-cycle for a new product, we just let them know that they can go ahead and do it now... and just take care of it and they will be good," said Boardman.

The state was going to start enforcing the new Real IDs beginning in 2015, but that deadline has now been pushed back by the federal government.  There is no timetable at this point.

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