NEW ORLEANS -- Monday was the first day residents could get the new driver's license that meets the standards of the federal REAL ID security law.
This comes eight months after Governor John Bel Edwards and lawmakers agreed earlier this year to get rid of a state law prohibiting them.
This new ID came out of Congress wanting stricter national standards after the terrorist attacks on September 11, especially for showing your ID before you get on a plane.
The Department of Motor Vehicles was so packed Monday, some people had to wait their turn outside. However, some people WWL-TV talked to had not heard a word about the new REAL ID.
"No, and to be honest with you I wasn't aware of it anyway," said Nicholas Hampton who said he was not offered the option in the DMV.
Others at the office agreed.
"Never mentioned it. I was just changing my address. That's all," said Monica Miller.
WWL-TV did find an attorney who got a REAL ID, designated by the gold star in the upper right corner. We also saw a person coming out with a paper that was handed to her by one of the DMV workers. It was an explanation of the difference between the current driver's license and the federal one.
Over at The Notary Shoppe in Metairie, there is a stack of those papers explaining the new rules on the counter. It is one of the private public tag agencies or PTAs that can give you a driver's license. For an extra $18 dollars, you don't have to wait in line at the DMV, but right now the state is not allowing PTAs to issue the new federal REAL ID.
"We've been told that we won't be able to issue the REAL ID right now,” explained The Notary Shoppe Office Manager Jodi Lanosga. “We'll be granted the privilege further on down the line. The state is just running their pilot programs right now. Hopefully, we'll be able to do them soon."
Now that some people are hearing about the federal REAL ID, they can see why they will need it down the road.
"I should (get one next time) because I hope to travel abroad as soon as possible," said Miller.
The new federal REAL ID will be needed starting October 1, 2020 to get on planes, in federal buildings and on military bases.
It will cost the same as a regular driver's license but you will need more forms of ID to get it. Some of those include a social security card, certified birth certificate, a passport and voter registration card, and 2 documents verifying your home address.
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