REAL ID Bullshit

Oh, fuck.

I think, in order to update my documentation, I may need:

  1. A local Social Security Office. I’m supposed to contact “your local social security office,” to check that all information is consistent, and if not, travel there to make any necessary corrections. I don’t have a local social security office. I don’t know whether there’s any accessible way to contact the nearest one, and there isn’t any accessible public transportation.

  2. Travel to the local dmv office and somehow avoid any seizure there.

  3. A $10 poll tax fee.

  4. 2 proofs of residency. As in mortgages or power bills in my name.

  5. And proof of my name change, etc. even though this happened long before I got my last documentation.


My wife just went through renewing her driver’s license which is now this REAL ID. Scrambling to get all the documentation made her really anxious, and it was just a matter of assembling it. And she doesn’t even drive! I griped the whole time about the effect his has on people who happen to be without some of the documentation for very good reasons. I can’t imagine what some people are going through.

I can’t stand what this country is turning into. I keep imagining checkpoints everywhere. (I know, there are a lot already.)


this is making me stress out right now, too. luckily i have my original social security card and birth certificate, because my passport is expired and i need to renew it – but the two proofs of residency via bills are going to be a hitch. everything is in my husband’s name, because he made more money than i did when we set up those accounts (still does, truth be told). but i’m hoping that since we’re married, that must be factored in somehow if i present bills with only his name on them. maybe if i bring a copy of our damn marriage certificate, or something…


Bank notice? Doctor’s statement?


good point. yes, of course i have those – duh, why didn’t i think of those!


The staunch Republican at work that I know cannot chooses to not understand how difficult an ID can be for some people to have.

Even when I detail all the difficulties less-priviledged people have, he just wants to chalk it up to laziness or there is a reason they won’t produce an ID (e.g. - undocumented, warrants, etc.) That he is not moved to think there is a problem.


You didn’t have a spouse worrying about it for a couple of weeks? :thinking:


no. we’re big boys, and i have another month to take care of this. i mentioned it to him once, but i haven’t brought it up again yet.


I don’t know, but those weren’t the examples they gave.


I think the trick is to take in lots of choices, just to make sure.

That is if a person can get there, which is assumed. :roll_eyes:


A lot of renters can’t get mail to their residence and have to use a PO Box. Or have roommates. Etc etc.

Or more simply: white people suck.


But they need this to ensure teh [slur] don’t overrun the country!

See also arguments demanding E-VERIFY, which poses even more of the same problems…


I’m going over the list:

A post office box or business address is not accepted.

Bank statements are accepted… but within the same restrictions, as a poll tax.


Consider the alternative: you could live in a state that’s like “REAL ID? hur dur, screw that!”

The whole thing is complete bullshit from the get-go, I’ll agree, but strictly as a practical matter, my state-issued driver’s license will cease to be sufficient to get me through a TSA checkpoint about six weeks before my next domestic flight, and I kind of would have rather been hassled at the DMV six months ago, when I got my license renewed, than spend the next six months figuring out how to get a passport, which is apparently what I’ll need to board (again, with emphasis) a domestic flight shortly before the end of this year.

To add insult to injury, even without the REAL ID stuff, they still had crazy new requirements about what sort of documentation you needed to renew your driver’s license. I’ve had a small laminated card, about the size of a credit card, that I’ve understood to be my birth certificate for my entire adult life. I’ve only recently learned that that’s not my “real” birth certificate, and they will no longer accept that as proof of ID. Instead, I need some sort of giant embossed/stamped piece of paper to prove that I was born of woman on such-n-such date in such-n-such location.

Long story short: I couldn’t get the documentation I thought I needed to renew my driver’s license, so I went in intending to file for an extension, but instead of demanding my papers, they simply gave me a vision test and had me identify a few traffic signs, then took my picture and sent me on my merry way. My new DL arrived in the mail a few days later.

I’m still not sure I can board a flight, but… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Utility bills: all paperless billing and auto-debit.
Bank statements: cost EXTRA now if you want actual paper sent in the mail.

I don’t think I get anything mailed that they would accept as proof of address.


I was surprised with how well it went for me. My wife had gone previously and had trouble with it - because she’s been married twice and changed names twice she needed extra documentation and had to hunt that down to go back again. It’s definitely sexist in that way.

Learning from that, when it was my turn I went to the state DMV site and looked up what I’d need. I walked in with a folder full of documentation (W-2 form, lease, utility bill printouts, passport, old ID, social security card, etc.). The woman behind the desk took a look and said “you really did your homework” and 15 minutes later I was done. (Would’ve probably been a little more difficult if I didn’t have a passport but during the last election season we decided that we should really get them since being able to leave the country suddenly seemed a likely future necessity.)

Anyway, for paperless auto-paid utility bills, you should have an account at the utility’s website and they should provide a view/print link for your bill, which should have your name and address. Likewise the e-statements from a bank/credit union. At least in my case, they accepted printouts no problem (didn’t ask to see an envelope).

It’s a pain in the ass, and it is discriminatory. I know I’m lucky that it was easy for me - the hardest part was scheduling to take time off work to do it. It is a lot harder for a lot of people.


That’s helpful, thank you!


Pay statements: also electronic.

It’s been decades since I’ve received an actual physical paycheck that wasn’t the first paycheck of a new job.


I suppose this is the right place to remind everyone that some of us have false vital records through no fault of our own, which is making these new regulations even scarier.

For a long time now, I’ve known that I cannot ever allow my passport to expire, because coming up with the documentation to prove what is already on file is basically impossible. I have had 3 birth certificates (that I know of), and the only one that is legal to use says I was born in a different state than the one on record at the State Department (wasn’t born there, have never lived there). It also says that no mother was present at my birth. I can’t use my BC as proof of anything.

I know quite a few people in my situation who haven’t been able to get a passport at all, and a few who haven’t been able to get driver’s licenses…all before these new regulations. Now? So much for freedom of movement.


Not to mention those of us who have non alphabetic characters in our names, not to mention multiple spellings of our first or last names, or even multiple first or last names due to americanization and/or name change.

These aren’t hypothetical. I have two spellings of my last name: one that’s the proper spelling, and another that doesn’t break computers. Plus, the 1940 US Census records for my family are a fucken fecal exhibition due to nicknames, americanized names, and bad handwriting.