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DMV will begin checking to see if you’ve got more than one driver’s license

What REAL ID does for you in North Carolina

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles now offers REAL ID – a new, security-enhanced identification card allowing you to board commercial flights and visit military or federal installations, and nuclear power plants.
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The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles now offers REAL ID – a new, security-enhanced identification card allowing you to board commercial flights and visit military or federal installations, and nuclear power plants.

People who have moved to North Carolina and have a state driver’s license or plan to get one here should be prepared to have their old one canceled.

Starting Monday, state Division of Motor Vehicles computers will be patched in to a system that gives the DMV access to an applicant’s driving history from another state, including suspensions. The State-to-State Verification Service will help confirm an applicant’s identity and prevent someone from holding a license in two states at once.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, prohibits someone from holding a REAL ID in more than one state at a time. A REAL ID is a state-issued driver’s license or ID card that meets stricter identification standards set by Congress and will satisfy requirements for entering federal facilities or flying on domestic flights starting in October 2020.

The new verification system will help DMV weed out duplicate licenses and IDs, said spokeswoman Patrice Bethea.

The DMV estimates that more than 210,000 North Carolinians have driver’s licenses in more than one state. The agency plans to use the new service to work with other states to determine which licenses were issued most recently and should be considered valid; the older, duplicate license will then be canceled.

The State-to-State Verification Service is operated by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and is voluntary. So far, 21 other states have signed on, including Virginia and Tennessee, and another 16 are expected to join by 2022, Bethea said.

DMV will continue to use the federal government’s National Driver Register to determine whether an applicant for a license has been convicted of serious traffic-related crimes or has had their license revoked, suspended, canceled or denied in another state.

All North Carolina DMV driver’s license offices will be closed this weekend while the State-to-State Verification System is installed. Online driver’s license services also will be unavailable between 7 a.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

For more information about the state-to-state system, including a list of states that participate, go to www.aamva.org/state-to-state/.

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, #census2020. He’s been a reporter or editor for 32 years, including the last 19 at The N&O. 919-829-4739, rstradling@newsobserver.com.

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