Published 6:00 am Sunday, January 12, 2020

Will I need a Louisiana Real ID license to vote in the presidential election this year?

No, you will not. The Real ID-compliant license or identification card is meant to make it easier to board domestic flights starting on Oct. 1.

The federal Real ID Act of 2005 was designed as anti-terrorism legislation and is the product of President George W. Bush’s National Strategy for Homeland Security panel.

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Those who don’t have Real ID licenses by Oct. 1 will still be able to board airplanes with a valid passport or military ID. TSA officials will also have other ways to confirm a person’s identity, but that will likely take more time at airport checkpoints.

To get a Real ID, residents need to visit the Office of Motor Vehicles with documentation showing their full legal name, date of birth, social security number and two proofs of address for their principal residence and lawful status.

The most common documents the OMV accepts are birth certificates, social security cards and documents like utility bills to prove their addresses.

Drivers with licenses expiring between now and Oct. 1 can renew them with the Real ID gold stars in the top right corner. Those who do not have licenses up for renewal before Oct. 1 will need to submit the approved documents and pay a $17 duplication fee to get a new card.

When you go to the polls to cast your vote on Election Day, be sure to take one of the following:

• a driver’s license;

• a Louisiana Special ID;

• LA Wallet digital driver’s license;

• United States military identification card that contains the applicant’s name and picture; or

• some other generally recognized picture ID that contains your name and signature.

If you do not have any of these, you may still cast your vote by signature on a voter affidavit, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website,


The Informer is written by Crystal Stevenson, American Press executive editor. To ask a question, call 494-4098 and leave a voice mail, or email