The Real ID clock continues to tick as the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission continues to work on a plan to be able to offer the U.S. Department of Homeland Security approved driver’s license to Garden State residents.

Starting in October 2020, you will need a Real ID driver’s license or a valid passport to board a commercial aircraft or enter a federal building in the United States.

At the beginning of this year, the MVC announced it was planning to roll out Real ID sometime in the spring. Then came word the process would begin at an undisclosed MVC office in June, but that plan was scrapped. Now the new target date for Real ID to begin is next month, according to MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton.

“We plan to start testing with the public sometime in September. As our folks are training and getting familiar with the systems and the documents, they’re getting faster and faster.”

She said Real ID is moving forward on a step-by-step basis.

“We’ve been in beta-testing for about 30 days. We’ve learned a lot, fixed a lot of bugs, and now I believe we’re very close.”

She said MVC workers willing to pay the standard license fee have been functioning as guinea pigs, going through the process of getting their Real ID licenses, which is allowing the agency to work out kinks in the system and also give other MVC employees the Real ID experience they will need.

“We want to make sure our folks are fully trained and proficient in the documents before we open to the public," she said.

She said at some point next month at least a few MVC offices will begin to offer designated appointment times to get Real ID licenses to the public.

She said if you go to realidnj.com you can sign up to be notified when an MVC office near you will start to offer Real ID licenses by appointment.

When asked if anything else was delaying Real ID from moving forward, she said MVC recently discovered it had a scanner problem.

“When we scanned the first passport, we discovered scanners that had been purchased in the previous administration, for every agency, would not work for current passports," she said.

She said those scanners have all been replaced.

She added that the agency has also had “some standard types of glitches with any major IT project."

Fulton stressed that several MVC offices will, without a doubt, be offering Real ID licenses by the end of September, so an additional one year extension from the Department of Homeland Security to roll out the Real ID program will not be necessary.

To get a Real ID license, New Jersey residents will need to present two proofs of residence, one proof of Social Security number as well as the standard "six points" of identification.

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