The North Carolina DMV mobile unit is travelling across the state to help North Carolinians apply for their REAL ID card. Tuesday morning, the bus rolled into Chapel Hill.
Prominent UNC figures and Orange County residents learned about the new identification method being implemented across the United States.
A REAL ID is an identification card meant to replace state-issued identification when accessing secure federal buildings, military bases, or using air travel. Congress created this measure in 2013 to improve national security and Americans can apply for them at DMVs.
UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham attended Tuesday’s event and applied for a REAL ID, saying he hopes other North Carolinians do the same soon.
“I encourage a lot of people to get out there early because there are 11 million people in the state that need to get new identification,” said Cunningham. “Make sure you have the proper credentials when you get there and read all the documentation so you come prepared.”
To apply for a REAL ID, North Carolinians need a few more documents than you do to renew or receive your license. The DMV requires one document to confirm your identity, date of birth, and legal presence, one document to confirm your social security number, and two documents to confirm your current North Carolina address.
UNC basketball coach Roy Williams had everything he needed to apply for a new identification card. He spoke about the simplicity of the process and said he likes the idea of REAL IDs.
“It was very easy,” said Williams, “it took about eight minutes. It’s a really neat deal. I don’t think we should act in a panic mode all the time, but I think anything that’s good for security, I’m all for. I think it’s a great idea and I didn’t have any problems with it.”
Orange County commissioner Penny Rich also applied for a REAL ID and agreed with Williams about the safety measures the new identification will bring. She also said, however, that she’s wary of how else the REAL IDs will be used in the future.
“It does concern me politically that it could possibly be used as another form of voter ID and voter suppression,” said Rich. “I’m going to be really conscious of that and follow along with how it’s going to make sure that doesn’t happen. I guess the number one job of county commissioners is to make sure Americans are safe, but I certainly don’t want [the REAL IDs] to be used against us.”
North Carolinians have until October 2020 to receive a REAL ID before they will need additional forms of identification for domestic air travel and entrance onto federal grounds. For more information about REAL IDs, visit North Carolina’s DOT website.