The California DMV has partnered with United Airlines and will open up a pop-up office at Los Angeles Airport Terminal 8 where United departs on select dates through the end of July to upgrade existing ID’s to the REAL ID.
The application popup booth at LAX Terminal 8 will be available on July 21, 26 and 28 (possibly more in the future if there is demand) with opening hours being from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during those days.
This cooperation between LAX Airport, United, and the California DMV that is tasked to issue driver’s licenses and state IDs came about as we’re nearing yet another deadline when passengers will have to present an enhanced ID that is valid to clear security at airports and other federal facilities.
The measure has been postponed several times now but is finally slated to start on May 3, 2023 as I previously wrote in an article:
Individuals can also upgrade their current ID / Drivers License to the new REAL ID, which comes with a designation on it while non-compliant ID’s include the notion “Federal Limits Apply”.
The REAL ID was supposed to become compulsory from January 1st 2020, then it was postponed to 2022 and now yet again (“due to COVID”) to May 3, 2023 from which day on travelers will require a new/updated “REAL ID” or a passport (among a few other accepted documents).
Usually, all this has to be done at a local DMV office and the process has slightly changed since the first days of REAL ID applications as now you can upload most required documents in advance to save time at the day of application, yet you have to carry the originals for an officer to verify.
Now USA Today reports that this will be possible on at least four days until the end of July when you fly out of United’s LAX Terminal 8.
Passengers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport will have a new way of making sure their driver’s license is Real ID compliant.
United Airlines and the California Department of Motor Vehicles will host a popup Real ID application center in Terminal 8 on four days this month.
“Working together with United Airlines and LAX allows us to directly connect with the traveling public and provide them with a unique chance to get a REAL ID without a visit to a DMV office,” DMV director Steve Gordon said in a statement.
Here’s what travelers need to know to take advantage of it:
United Airlines, California’s DMV and the operators of LAX will open a Real ID application popup at the airport’s Terminal 8 on July 19, 21, 26 and 28. Application services will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those days, and more days may be added if demand is high.
Any ticketed passengers or airport employees who are California residents can take advantage of the service.
The LAX partnership will allow you to complete your Real ID application while you wait for your flight or after you land, but you will not receive any documents at the airport.
In order to take advantage of the Real ID popup, you’ll need to begin an application for your new driver’s license online.
“Ticketed passengers and airport employees must start the online application and upload their documents prior to meeting with DMV representatives inside Terminal 8,” the DMV said in a statement. “Customers will need to bring their original uploaded documents to be verified at the airport, and a copy of their confirmation page. They will also need to provide a fingerprint and electronic signature, and have their photograph taken to complete their application.” …
A “Real ID” is available as both a driver’s license as well as a state ID. The document requirement is actually quite restrictive, and you’re only able to get one if you’re in possession of a Social Security Number (obviously no problem for U.S. citizens and lawful residents) as well as valid Identification, which includes, as a minimum a valid foreign passport, valid U.S. Visa and most recent I-94 (definitely a problem for individuals with questionable immigration status).
The U.S. is now fumbling around for 17 years, trying to put an ID requirement in place that was brought on the way through legislation a few years after 9/11. Let that sink in for a moment!
Acceptable Identification from May 3, 2023 (apart from the non-excluded drivers licenses / ID’s) will include:
- Valid passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents and DoD civilians)
- Permanent resident card
All foreign travelers obviously have a passport already, so it doesn’t concern them, and Permanent Residents will be able to use their PR Card (Green Card) as a form of identification.
For those not really desiring to do either, the cheapest and most convenient option is probably the Passport Card (see details here) which is a wallet-size card just like a driver’s license for a fee of US$65 that serves exactly like a passport for land- and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean, and Bermuda. You can’t fly internationally with those, though.
Getting a passport card is actually easier – believe it or not – than getting a real ID, especially for people who changed their name when getting married it’s reportedly a pain in the rear to satisfy the DMV’s document requirements. I can only attest to this from what I read and what friends told me.
If you apply for your U.S. Passport booklet and the card together you will also save a little bit on the fee. This has to be done at places that are designated to apply for or renew your U.S. passport, not the DMV.
I got a REAL ID from a local DMV in Los Angeles in order to sign up for CLEAR a few years ago, but it has since lapsed. Apparently, that doesn’t matter for CLEAR though, once you’re signed up then you’re golden at least until they change that.
The REAL ID requirement is once again making headlines for 17 years and counting, this time to push for it to be done in the United Airlines Terminal 8 of Los Angeles International Airport, where the California DMV will have a pop-up booth.
All who want to take advantage of this will have to prepare their application online and upload the relevant documents. The documents also need to be presented again to a DMV officer at the booth, and a fingerprint, as well as a live photo, will be taken.