The Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles plans to start issuing Real ID compliant driver's licenses and state IDs starting on January 2, 2019.

Even though Alaskans won't have to show them until October of 2020, Alaska DMV Director Marla Thompson said people may want to think about applying for a Real ID sooner rather than later.

"As their driver's license or IDs are getting ready to expire, it would be a good time to figure out, 'Do I want to get a Real ID?' and, 'If I do, what do I need to process that,"' said Thompson.

Turns out, the list of documentation required is long; a passport or birth certificate is just the beginning.

"They would need their social security card or some sort of W2 form, something that's got their social security number printed on it," said Thompson. "They'll need two things to prove they live in Alaska, maybe a utility bill or a registration of their vehicle that's got their address on it. It's basic information, but things that  people might not have when they thinking about coming in for the renewal of their driver's license."

Thompson said the paperwork has to be presented in person the first time a person applies for a Real ID. It will also cost more, $40 for a driver's license and $35 for a state ID. But the license or ID will be valid for a longer period of time.

"Once you get a real ID credential, it will be good for 8 years," said Thompson. "And  then they can go online and renew online, so they'll only have to come in once every 16 years."

Thompson said even after the October 2020 deadline no one will be required to have a Real ID to get on an airplane or enter a military base. Other valid documents, like a passport, may be used instead.

Thompson said people can find a checklist of documents and other information they need about Real IDs on the DMV website.

The Division of Homeland Security has information on other IDs that are acceptable besides a Real ID.

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