The Iowa Department of Transportation has received an extension in the time it has to make the state’s driver’s licenses fit the standards for the federal “Real I.D.” program. Shirley Andre of the driver services division of the D-O-T says the extension is important for Iowans.

Andre says the extension will allow Iowans to continue using their driver’s licenses for identification for things such as boarding airplanes and accessing federal facilities. Without the extension, the Iowa licenses would not have been accepted after May 11th of this year.

Andre says the extension also gives them more time to work out the details of the federal program. She says the next step is working with motor vehicle departments across the country to find out the best way to implement Real I.D., and also they’re trying to figure out internally what it will take for Iowa to meet the requirements of the federal rule. One thing that is known, is the Real I.D. license will have a different look.

Andre says the federal rule requires that the Real I.D. be “distinctly different from the noncompliant license. She says they don’t know what that means yet for the license as they’re still working that out. Andre says the process of getting a Real I.D. will be different as you will have to prove your status as a citizen, something not required now for a driver’s license. Andre says there’s one other important thing you should know.

Andre says there is no-one who will be required to get a Real I.D., they will still issue the regular driver’s licenses if you don’t want a Real I.D. Andre says Iowa is in about the same place as most other states when it comes to the Real I.D. implementation.