UPDATE: Tennesseans will soon have a new driver’s license option.

This license is called "Real-IDs" which allows the state to meet federal standards.

Tennesseans must have the new license by October 1st, 2020.

This will mainly impact air travel.

Dorothy Durr is a Tennessee driver, and she's also a frequent flyer.

She just learned about the new changes to Tennessee driver’s licenses and IDs.

Durr says she's definitely going to get the new ID.

“As long as it’s not too much trouble,” said Dorothy Durr. “I travel often. So if it's going to make things easier, then I'm for it.”

Currently, 4.5 million people have a Tennessee driver’s license.

Tennesseans aren't required to get the upgraded driver's licenses.

However, if residents don't have a passport, the "Real-ID" cards will be needed to fly on airplanes, go into federal buildings or enter military bases.

Tennessee's Director of Drivers Services Michael Hogan says the new license will not cost more than the original one.

“It has to be a certified birth certificate, or a US passport if you were here,” Michael Hogan said. “If you are here with a legal presence in the country, then there are various forms.”

Hogan says this program has been rolling out in phases across the country.

This legislation began in 2005 during the George W. Bush administration.

“That was one of the concerns with the hijackers of 911 because a lot of them have been here past their authorized stay,” Hogan explained. “So this right here ensures it.”

Hogan says other states have only seen a 20 percent increase in people getting the new license. So he does not expect high volumes from DMV's in Tennessee.

Durr says she just wants the process to be fast and simple.

“There are always long lines at the DMV ha-ha-ha,” said Durr.

In Hamilton County, the Red Bank and Bonny Oaks DMV locations will be the only locations issuing the "Real IDs."

If locations get busy, employees have a few options to relieve long lines.

“We can extend our hours of service for individuals to come to the center,” Hogan said. “We also have Saturdays as an option, and we can dedicate facilities.”

Tennesseans can expect the new IDs to be issued this July.


PREVIOUS STORY: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee will begin offering residents the option to upgrade their driver's license starting July 1 to meet federal requirements that will affect air travel.

Officials with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security told lawmakers on Tuesday that Tennesseans aren't required to get the upgraded driver's licenses. However, the Real-ID compliant-cards will be needed to fly on airplanes, go into federal buildings or enter military bases effective Oct. 1, 2020.

The Real ID is designed to make driver's licenses less susceptible to forgery by requiring proof of U.S. residency. It requires states to retain copies of identification documents, like birth certificates.

Several lawmakers said they're worried the state wouldn't have enough resources to handle possible increased DMV lines, but the department says they have enough time to handle the demand.

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