Rite of Passage: Driver’s License

Old and Real IDs May Affect Future Travel Plans

Elizabeth Hennessey, Digital Editor

There are three forms of identification an individual can have; a generic ID that can be obtained to drive, a Real ID, that will allow you to board planes and enter federal facilities, and a fake ID that could result in jail time.

In Kansas at the age of 14, individuals can take a multiple choice test that will determine whether they can drive or not with an adult present in the vehicle. At 17, you can either take a drivers education course or take the driving test at the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain an authorized state drivers license to drive on your own.

In 2005, Congress enacted the Real ID Act, which set minimum security standards for identification. This act was implemented after the 9/11 terrorist attacks as another form of security. There are four phases of the act. Phase one and two mandate that a “Real ID” are required to enter federal facilities and nuclear power plants. Phase one and two were implemented in 2014. Phase three requires the IDs for semi-restricted areas that are generally open to the public but require an ID check, an example of this is military bases. This was implemented in 2015. Phase four, which will go into effect Oct. 1, 2020 will require a Real ID to board any federally regulated plane. Currently, if you do not have a Real ID, another form of acceptable identification along with your ID is required to fly. This went into effect on Jan. 22.

Kansas started issuing IDs that follow federal mandates for the Real ID in July. The new IDs will be distinguished by a gold circle with a white star cut out in the top right hand corner of ID. Although people can use their current ID to drive, vote, or as a general form of identification for now, a Real ID will be required to fly in the future.

A Real ID can be obtained at the local DMV. There is a lengthy number of items that must be brought with you in order to receive a Real ID. Items include; original copy of your birth certificate, proof of social security, and proof of residency.

Although the process to get a Real ID is lengthy, according to students at Shawnee Heights, getting a fake ID is really easy. Recently, the trend of having a fake has descended from the college level to high school juniors and seniors.

“I feel like more people are getting them…I just feel like people realized how easy it is to get them,” senior Hailey Buckley said when discussing this new trend.  

Whether someone is using a purchased, customized fake ID, or borrowing a friend or siblings ID, it is illegal. In Kansas the crime of being in possession of a fake form of identification is often met with the punishment of a large fine, and even possibly the suspension of a person’s driver’s license. While jail time is possible, it is not likely.

“It’s really easy, like really easy,” senior Cooper Finnicum said when discussing how easy it is to get a Fake ID. Finnicum was previously in possession of a fake ID, but had it confiscated.