REAL ID Act letter landing in mailboxes of many Texas drivers

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Thousands of Texas residents are receiving letters from the department of public safety warning that their driver’s licenses are about to expire.

Many people are receiving these letters even though their licenses are still valid for more than a year or two. But, there is an explanation.

DPS is in the process of implementing The REAL ID ACT program, which will require many Texas to get an updated ID to travel and go into federal buildings.

The REAL ID Act deadline is October 2020, but DPS does not want residents to wait until then.

Letters have been arriving in mailboxes across the country, not just central Texas.

Texas has joined the National REAL ID Act, and when it goes into effect in 2020, you'll need an updated driver’s license that will have a white star in a gold circle on the right corner of the license.

That emblem will allow you to travel and enter government buildings like the federal courthouse in Waco.

Officials at airports across the country are warning travelers to not procrastinate and get a proper ID sooner than later.

"if a traveler cannot provide an acceptable form of identification, he/she will not be permitted through the security checkpoint at airports across the country, so it's critical people take the steps now to become compliant," one national airport official explained.

So, while the letter says your license is expiring soon, it actually is an all-out effort to get people ready for the new law.

One motorist who received the letter says, “my drivers license does not expire until after October 2020."

Their only problem, Texas will have started its role in the National REAL ID program and they will not be able to board an airplane or attend court in a Federal courthouse until they get the new ID.

Most can re new their licenses or ID’s directly through the DPS website in Texas.

However, if you still have two-years left on your license you can wait awhile, the law does go into effect in 2020, but as of tomorrow, it will be needed next year.

You'll find links to several helpful websites explaining the REAL ID Act in "Related Links," located in the upper right hand side of this article.