One of the lines you stand in at the State Fair can be for the DMV

The N.C. DMV’s mobile office will be open every day at the State Fair except Sundays.
The N.C. DMV’s mobile office will be open every day at the State Fair except Sundays.

If you go to the State Fair, you’re bound to stand in some lines. One of them could be at the DMV to renew your driver’s license or get a REAL ID.

The Division of Motor Vehicles will have a mobile office at the fair every day but Sundays. It will be between Dorton Arena and the Jim Graham Building, inside Gate 2, and open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The DMV mobile office will be able to provide any service related to driver’s licenses except those requiring a behind-the-wheel driving test. That includes renewals, ordering duplicates, updating addresses and obtaining a REAL ID, a new type of driver’s license that satisfies federal identification requirements that go into effect in October 2020.

The DMV says demand for the REAL ID was largely responsible for long lines and wait times of several hours at many driver’s license offices this summer. After encouraging people not to wait until 2020 to get a REAL ID, the agency seemed unprepared when hundreds of thousands of people came in for the new IDs this year.

DMV has responded with several changes, including express lines for customers with quick transactions and employees who talk to people shortly after they get in line to make sure they have the correct paperwork. This week, 25 of the busiest DMV offices, including in Cary, Carrboro and on Avent Ferry Road in Raleigh, began opening an hour early, at 7 a.m., to try to reduce wait times.

DMV wait times have improved in recent weeks, said spokeswoman Patrice Bethea. Last week, the statewide average was about 38 minutes, down from a peak in mid-August of 1 hour and 7 minutes, Bethea said. That’s still higher than DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup’s goal of a statewide average of 30 minutes and does not include the amount of time people spend in line outside the building or before they check in with a DMV employee and get a number.

Congress created the REAL ID program in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to try to increase security at federal facilities, military bases, nuclear power plants and on commercial flights. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, people traveling without a REAL ID or a passport will need two forms of identification to board of domestic flight.

To get a REAL ID license or ID card, you’ll need:

One document proving your identity, date of birth and/or legal status in the U.S. This can include a certified birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport.

One document showing your full Social Security number. This can include a Social Security card, a W-2 form or a 1099 tax form with your full name and number.

Two documents showing your current address. This can include your current driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration card, bank statement or a cable or utility bill.

If your name has changed or is different from the one on your birth certificate or other documents, you’ll also need a document showing the change, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree.

For more information about REAL ID, including a full list of acceptable documents, go to www.ncdot.gov/dmv/license-id/nc-real-id/. There will be DMV employees at the fair to answer questions about REAL ID and other driver’s license matters.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling
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