Jason Berghorst

Have you gotten your REAL ID yet?

In Other Words

I’m in the process. And let me tell you, it’s been a real process. 

If you haven’t heard, our “normal” Minnesota driver’s licenses will no longer qualify as adequate identification for boarding a domestic flight after Oct. 1.

At least that’s how I understand it.

When my driver’s license renewal notice arrived in December, I realized this was my chance to upgrade to my “real” ID. 

I had two months until my February birthday to get it all figured out. I could probably get it done online.

I’d have my new, super-powerful REAL ID driver’s license in plenty of time.

December was busy. In January, work was even busier. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.

And then about two weeks ago I realized it was almost February. I hadn’t even started the process of renewing my license.

It was time to take action. REAL action.

So I brought the renewal postcard to work and put it right next to my keyboard.

I would surely get going on the process with that constant reminder.

And then another week and a half passed.

Finally, this weekend I realized I was down to about a week and I couldn’t wait any longer.

I gathered the courage to actually log in to the state website to begin renewing my license and obtaining my REAL ID.

After a few minutes, I realized the state means real business with this REAL ID.

I have to actually go to the courthouse. I was going to need my Social Security card. I was even going to need my birth certificate.

Are they for real? Do people really know where their birth certificates are at all times?

I was in real trouble. Let’s just say my system of organizing personalized government documents that are used a few times in a lifetime is not flawless.

I had my Social Security card, but that’s because I went to the Social Security office to get a replacement four years ago when I started a new job.

My birth certificate was a similar story. After looking in a few places, I quickly realized a replacement will also be needed.

So, I desperately called our local courthouse.

The friendly worker informed me that with a driver’s license, a completed form and about $25 cash or check, I could have a new birth certificate.

And, as I write this column on Monday, that’s where the process stands.

My plan is to go to the courthouse after work tomorrow, first to get my replacement birth certificate and then to venture into another office to renew my license and get my REAL ID.

It will be a real process. And if it all works, I will be really relieved.

Either way, I may need a real vacation.

If I have my REAL ID. 

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