MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The deadline is inching closer for Tennesseans to get a Real ID – and that’s causing long lines, long wait times, and other headaches for people across the Mid-South.
Drivers have until October 1 to get a Real ID if they want to fly domestically without a passport.
Some we caught up with Monday said they waited around three hours to get a Real ID. And since you have to go in person to a driver services center to get a Real ID, we found out others were still tripped up with the needed requirements.
“Ithought I had it all, but I don’t,” Patty Williams said.
Williams wasted time and a trip from east Memphis to the driver services center in Oakland Monday afternoon, even though she thought she did her homework to get a Real ID.
“Ilooked up online and thought I had everything, but I have to have either a W-2or 1099 form from this year,” Williams said.
Williams wasn’t alone in the confusion or frustration of those who tried unsuccessfully Monday to get a Real ID.
Starting October 1st, you’ll need one to board a domestic commercial flight or go into a federal building or nuclear power plant.
“It’sa slow-moving train. They need to work on their process. People shouldn’t haveto wait this long for something the state said that we needed to have,”Karlisha Benymon said.
The documents required to a get a REAL ID include: either a birth certificate or unexpired passport – proof of a social security number, from either the actual card, payroll check, or 2019 W-2 or 1099 form – and two documents proving you live in Tennessee, such as a recent utility bill, bank statement, or car title.
“Weknow it’s going to be busy. Right now, we are seeing lines starting to wraparound our building,” Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert said.
That’s why Halbert recommends people not wait until the last minute. She expects Real ID lines will only get worse going into the spring and summer.
“Eventhough the deadline is October of this year, this is going to be a problem thatwe are seeing nationwide. Tennessee jumped on board a little late, so that’swhy there’s a crunch happening in Tennessee,” Halbert said.”
Halbertis also hopeful a new driver services center will open in the HacksCross/Winchester area by October, along with remodeling of the downtown Memphisfacility to allow for more space and chairs.
For more FAQ’s on Real ID in Tennessee, go to: https://www.tn.gov/tnrealid/faqs.html
For a trial period, the Oakland driver services center is also taking appointments, but we are told all appointment slots this week were filled.