ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — A local man who has just about any identity imaginable told News 4 he’s getting a real ID on the run.
“My VA card, my military card, my service card in the armed forces,” Lowell David Roberts said.
However, the local Missouri license office told him he couldn’t get a real ID.
“It kind of makes you feel like a second-class citizen,” he said.
Many people already have their Real ID, an ID card that meets the minimum security standards for government-issued driver’s licenses. It was due in May, but was only pushed back to 2025. However, you will eventually need it to board domestic flights or access federal facilities.
“I wanted to get a REAL ID to get on base,” he said.
Lowell works for a security company and has been in the service for many years. But his local licensing office recently told him he was restricted from getting a REAL ID, all for one simple reason.
“I was born at home on a farm in Iowa,” he said.
Lowell told News 4 Investigates that he never had a birth certificate.
“As soon as they found out that I don’t have a birth certificate, they said, ‘I’m sorry,’ and that was the end of the conversation,” he said.
All his other forms of ID weren’t cutting it, he didn’t know what to do next.
“I called Channel 4 to see if we could do anything about it,” he said.
News 4 Investigation sent its concerns directly to the state.
A spokesperson wrote in response: “Missouri has not, under our regulations, implemented a document exclusion process to process an eligible REAL ID application.” further stated: We follow the provisions of the federal regulations regarding the initial list of acceptable documents for verification of identity.
The Missouri Department of Revenue site offers an interactive guide that lists all the documents needed to get a REAL ID, and it’s extensive. Without a passport, a birth certificate is one of the biggest: no exception.
Lowell said that’s not fair. But this is the law. At the age of 80, he must apply for a birth certificate.
It turns out that many people don’t get their real ID, or they choose not to. In Missouri, 31% of people now have a REAL ID, compared to 46% of people who chose to get a standard ID. In Illinois, only 32% of the population has received a real ID, and more than 6 million choose a regular ID instead.
This is not surprising, experts say, because someone may already have a passport or not plan to board the plane at all. But some people have said that the amount of documents required can also be overwhelming.
Click here For more information on REAL IDs in Missouri.
Click here For more information on REAL IDs in Illinois.
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