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Ohio Begins New Process for Getting a Driver's License

photo of Ohio driver's license
These Real ID licenses (pictured) will be needed to board airplanes after October 2020.

Ohioans are now navigating a new process to get their driver’s licenses. It’s mostly the same, but with one big difference.

State BMV registrar Don Petit says instead of being handed a new license on the spot, drivers will walk out of a deputy registrar’s office with either their old license or a document – both good for 45 days – while they wait at home for the new license, like one would with a credit or debit card from the bank.

“It comes in the mail, generally in about a week to 10 days in a very plain envelope. And we’re going to be using a very similar process for putting the driver’s license in our customer’s hands,” he said.

Those who want licenses that are compliant with a federal proof of identity law that takes effect in two years will have to bring a birth certificate or passport, a social security card and two proofs of residency.

Those Real ID compliant licenses will be needed to board airplanes after October 1, 2020.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.