COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio is looking into whether to allow residents to digitally submit the supporting documents needed to get a new higher-security ID, following a ruling this week from the Department of Homeland Security that would allow it.
After Oct. 1, the Real ID will be the only state-issued ID accepted at security checkpoints at airports. To try to streamline the process of getting one — thereby avoiding chaos at BMV offices and airports later this year — the DHS told states on Wednesday they could accept digitally submitted copies of birth certificates and passports as part of the Real ID application process.
Ohio was one of several states that recommended that DHS allow electronic submission of the documents, Lindsey Bohrer, a spokeswoman for the Ohio BMV, said in an email.
“Right now, Ohio is looking into what additional technology, staffing and funding would be needed to implement electronic submission, and if electronic submission of partial documentation will improve customer convenience and satisfaction,” she said.
The state has not set a specific timetable to make a decision, Bohrer said.
Even if the state does allow electronic submission, residents would still have to physically present other supporting documents at a BMV office to get a Real ID.
The Real ID, conceived by Congress in 2005 as a way to increase airport security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, requires residents to prove their legal name, birthdate and legal U.S. residency in order to get one. That translates to more stringent paperwork requirements than a traditional ID.
The new IDs aren’t required. But after the Oct. 1 deadline, standard IDs will no longer be enough to get through a security checkpoint. However, passports or military IDs still will be accepted.
Ohio and other states are scrambling to promote the new IDs with modest success. While more Ohioans are getting the Real IDs since the BMV launched an Oct. 11 publicity campaign, most still aren’t.
Of the 68,182 IDs Ohio has issued since Jan. 1, 48% are the federally compliant Real IDs, state officials said.
That compares to 42% for the week before Oct. 11, when the state BMV launched a publicity campaign to promote the new IDs.
Overall, just less than one-third of the licenses Ohio has issued since July 1, 2018 have been Real IDs.
“We are encouraged by Ohio’s 67% increase in our Real ID compliant card issuance rate compared to this time last year, and continue to examine ways to make the process easier for Ohioans,” Bohrer said.
Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday that encouraging Ohioans to sign up for the new ID remains a priority.
“It’s concerning that we don’t have more Ohioans who are choosing that particular license, and the only thing I can think of is that for most of them, they don’t really fully realize all the ramifications of making that choice,” he said.
For more information about Real IDs and the documents required to get one, visit the state BMV website,www.bmv.ohio.gov.