REAL ID changes (for better or worse?)

Jamie Stoner will now appear as Jamie Fleury in Pilot News Group Publications including The Pilot News, Culver Citizen and Heartland News.
Jamie Fleury
Staff Writer

Going to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles can be a challenging process. In addition to the typical address change or name changes (for better or worse) Indiana residents are now required to verify information that they may not have had to the last time they updated their drivers license in order to satisfy the requirements of ‘REAL ID’.

A Real ID-compliant driver’s license, permit or identification card will be required by October 1, 2020 in order to fly commercially in the United States and to gain access to any military base, use an Amtrak train, or enter secure federal facilities. A passport or ‘common access card’ (CAC) will be accepted as alternatives.

Once identification has been processed it will bear a gold star in the upper right hand corner of the card verifying that the necessary documents and proofs have been submitted.

For those who may not have had the pleasure of finding out the hard way already, the following information has been made available through Brochures are available at the license branch and information is also available online.

Be prepared to provide proof of; identity (both name and date of birth), lawful status in the United States, a valid social security number or proof of ineligibility, and two documents proving Indiana residency.

To save an unproductive trip to the branch, the following tips have been provided through the REALID.IN literature brochure;

Verify you have all the correct documents before visiting a BMV branch. If you have questions about your documents, visit or call 888-692-6841

Ensure all documents are originals or verifiable certified copies.

If your current legal name is different from the name on your birth certificate or other identity document, you must present documents to show legal proof of the name change. Documents must link name changes.

Faxed or photocopied documents will not be accepted.

Foreign driver’s licenses with English subtitles or translation are accepted as proof of driving experience only.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security must verify lawful status.

All documents provided are subject to BMV review and approval. The BMV may also retain images or copies of any documents presented.

Though it has been the standard for years to prove identity, lawful status, social security number and Indiana residency, those individuals who have been married, divorced, or remarried have to prove their identity by linking every step of those changes. This can be especially challenging for those who have had unique or extraordinary circumstances to include multiple marriages. It has been reported that more women are retaining their maiden name after marriage or using a hyphen to link their maiden name and married name.

Women who have been married for years have been required to go to the clerk’s office in the county that they were married and obtain a certified copy of their marriage. A marriage license, divorce decree or court order are documents that may be used for such purposes.

Another hurdle for residents living in rural areas to clear is if they use a post office box to receive mail. While a post office box can be listed, it cannot be the only line listed for the address. A complete address including street name on two official mailings is required to prove residency. An Indiana voter registration card, a U.S. Postal service change of address confirmation letter, utility bills and bank statements are among accepted documentation.

Residents are encouraged to make sure they hold a REAL-ID compliant identification card. Even if your current identification card will not expire before October 1, 2020, visit your local license branch and get verified. A complete list of requirements and acceptable documentation can be found online at

Plymouth Bureau of Motor Vehicles License Branch is located at 2936 Miller Drive, Plymouth. Hours of operation are Tuesday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Additional information can be found online at

As in life and sometimes marriage things change for better and worse.

Read more news from the Culver area in this week's edition of The Culver Citizen. It is on sale now. Call 574-936-3101 to subscribe.