For national security reasons, every U.S. citizen is required to obtain a REAL ID prior to year 2020. In my first attempt at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles' Valparaiso office, I took with me my Social Security card, pay stubs, insurance card, of course my driver's license, other documents and a copy of my birth certificate. The BMW would not issue me a REAL ID because I did not have my original birth certificate. The BMV asked me where I was born, and since the answer is Chicago, I was given the number for the Illinois Department of Health.
I sent a check and a request for the birth certificate March 4 to the Illinois Dept of Health. On April 1, the check was cashed. As of April 17, I still had not received the certificate from the Illinois Board of Health. Since my license was to expire April 19, I took this information back to the BMW to plead my case.
The Valpo BMW said that is too bad, and I had to settle for getting a regular driver's license. If my birth certificate ever shows up, I will have to go back to Valpo BMW a third time and pay again for the new REAL ID Otherwise, after 2020 I will not be able to fly on airplanes or enter federal buildings. This is just a head's up for those waiting until the last minute to get the REAL ID. It is a real pain.
Michael Croarkin, Valparaiso