Consider choosing compliant driver license when you renew

By Marilyn McConahay

For Miami Valley Today

MIAMI COUNTY — As their driver licenses expire, Ohio drivers are now having to decide whether they want to renew with their familiar standard license or choose to apply for the new license called the compliant license card.

Effective July 2, 2018, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles introduced a new type of driver license and ID card that is compliant with Transportation Safety Administration requirements.

“The compliant license was sought by the TSA, which is under the Department of Homeland Security. It’s designed to comply with the Real ID Act of 2005,” said Lindsey Bohrer, Public Information Officer at the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

“Ohio gave drivers a jump-start on the Oct.1, 2020 deadline. In July of 2018, we started issuing the offering in Ohio,” she said.

While the standard license will still allow people to drive and still serves as an ID, it won’t be accepted to fly on commercial aircraft. The compliant license will additionally allow holders to enter Federal buildings and fly on commercial aircraft.

Both cards will allow holders to prove identity for tasks such as purchasing alcohol, obtaining social services or registering to vote.

According to the Department of Homeland Security website, starting Oct.1, 2020, every state and territory resident will need to present a REAL ID compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding to fly. (Visit to find detailed answers to common questions.)

The new compliant choice has been confusing for some people, but most simply put, applying for it will require documents of proof for five basic things: legal name, date of birth, US legal presence, Social Security, and proof of address.

“From all the questions we’ve recently received, we have created an interactive document list to help drivers decide what to bring in as proof. People appreciate that,” Bohrer said. “Some documents can cover more than one requirement, such as the example of the birth certificate proving both name and date of birth.”

The chart can be found at A photo of the compliant card, which shows a star at the top right, appears at the top of the page. To the right of the photo, click on “What Documents Do I Need?” which will take you to the chart of acceptable documents for both types of license.

Employees at the Miami County Bureau of Motor Vehicles are not authorized to speak with members of the media. However, a spokesperson at the Miami County Public Health Department in Troy was able to say that many people seeking birth certificates have said they need it for proof of date of birth and legal name required for the compliant license.

“There haven’t been a great number so far,” the spokesperson said. “But, then not everyone tells us why they need the certificate. It’s not something we ask them. A person needs only to come in and fill out an application. It costs $24 and the applicant receives it on the spot.”

In some cases, the applicant’s last name may have changed through marriage, divorce or perhaps through multiple marriages. That can create a need to provide a “paper trail” to link the applicant’s current name to the name on the original birth certificate, through copies of marriage licenses and/or divorce decrees or even a document of legal name change or a name changed by adoption.

Anyone needing a copy of a marriage license or divorce decree in Miami County can get one at the Miami County Probate Court or call 440-6050.

At the state level, Bohrer said, “So far, about one-third of our customers are choosing the compliant license. In October, we are going to do another media push, because that will mark one year before the deadline.”

One driver who had successfully navigated the compliant license regulations, Kay Dawson of Englewood, said she found it to be a fairly easy process.

“Because I live in Montgomery County, I went to the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Dayton for a copy of my birth certificate. My biggest problem was finding a parking place. And, I ended up getting my compliant license with no trouble whatsoever,” said Dawson. “When I took a friend to Miami County’s Department of Public Health for her birth certificate, she experienced no delay at all.”

While determining what documents of proof to use may be the only real challenge, once those things are in hand, the rest should go smoothly.

“Once I had my paperwork together, the process was the same as in the past for the standard license, except you are given a temporary license certificate to carry until your new compliant license arrives in the mail in about 10 days,” Dawson said. “When it does arrive, you’ll see the photos are just as terrible as ever!”

Bohrer said there is no cost difference between the standard license-ID and the compliant one and that the cost has not changed.

Readers in other counties should check with their local BMV offices.

For more information, visit