Starting Jan. 15, the state of Iowa will be issuing REAL IDs to those renewing their driver's license, as well as new drivers applying for their license.
This new license and non-operator ID will allow Iowa to be in compliance with federal regulations for "physical security and verification of identity and legal presence in the United States," according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Beginning Dec. 14, 2014, a REAL ID may be asked for in order to enter federal buildings, nuclear power plants and before boarding a plane.
"A lot of people aren't going to do those things," Mark Lowe, director of motor vehicle division for the Iowa DOT, said. "But people who don't have one might be subjected to additional screening."
Thirteen other states are in full compliance with these regulations and are currently issuing REAL IDs. Some states have yet to comply, while others are slowly working towards it, according to Lowe.
"The change is to maintain compliance with federal regulations. It's an access issue, and we want to give Iowans that access," Lowe said.
A REAL ID will look the same as a regular Iowa driver's license. The only difference will be a star in the upper right corner. There are no additional requirements or fees when applying for a REAL ID. The process will require documents establishing identity and date of birth, such as a social security number, residency and residential address.
People who have an existing Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID holders are not required to apply for a REAL ID until they are ready to renew.
"Nothing starts immediately with these IDs," Lowe said.