Remember that scandal with Arizona driver’s licenses?

There was a huge controversy surrounding Arizona’s driver’s licenses in the past few months because there were new federal requirements being passed down and Arizona did not want to comply with these new regulations and there was some talk about how Arizonans would need a different form of ID rather than a driver’s license to get onto an airplane.

Travelers will be able to board airlines next year using their Arizona driver’s license as identification, ending confusion over Arizona’s contorted reaction to the federal Real ID act.

Attention travelers: You are now free to apply for a travel ID. But there’s no need to rush.

The retooled Arizona driver’s license won’t be mandatory until October 2020 for people boarding commercial airlines. But after a long, politically rocky birth, the Arizona Department of Transportation will start issuing the card Friday, hoping to phase it in over the next 4½ years.

The Voluntary Travel ID costs $25, is good for eight years and will look almost identical to the existing driver’s license, with the addition of a gold star.

The card brings Arizona into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. In addition to being necessary for using federally regulated flights beginning in fall 2020, the identification card also gives access to a number of secure federal facilities.

Arizonans will need to provide documents from each of the three categories below to get the travel ID:

  • A document that shows birth or legal presence in the United States. That could be a certified birth certificate, a U.S. passport or valid immigration documents.
  • Papers that confirm Social Security information, such as a Social Security card or a W-2 form.
  • Two forms of ID that establish proof of residency, such as a bank statement, utility bill or a voter-registration card – as long as the documents contain the bearer’s current address.

The IDs are available at 24 third-party driver’s license providers statewide. They’re also available by appointment only at select Motor Vehicle Division offices. Details are available on the MVD website.

The Legislature last year authorized creation of the ID as a deadline loomed that would have prevented Arizonans from boarding flights without an identification that complied with the federal law. But the federal government moved the deadline, and Arizona lawmakers reversed a 2008 law that prevented the state from complying with the federal program.

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