The Montana Real ID requirements

As of 07 Jan 2019, you can have or make an appointment to get a MT Real ID.  This appointment, from all indications and research that I’ve done, must be made on the internet, which requires setting up an account.  Convenient for Montanans…NOT.  So, even if I’m mistaken and you can call to make an appointment, you must have an appointment.  Next is the paperwork aspect.  Oh, this one’s fun.  First, you have to prove that you are who you say you are, which requires a certified birth certificate. a current passport, or a handful of other documents that may qualify.  Second, you must have your Social Security Card or a handful of other documents that may suffice.  Third, if your current name doesn’t match the name on your birth certificate, you must present proof of all legal name changes.  Yes, this mean that, if you’re married, you need your marriage certified marriage certificate.  If you’re divorced and remarried, you need a certified copy of your marriage certificate and your dissolution of marriage and your other marriage certificate.  All certified, mind you.  Fourth, you must have two forms of proof of Montana residency.  Yes.  Two.  They may be of the same type, which is a bit vague, but I believe that it means you could bring two utility bills with your address and a Montana postmark in and that would do it, but don’t quote me on that.  Now comes the fun part.  Fees.  How much does this cost?  Well, with fees and taxes, my first Real ID is going to cost me $61.80, even though I’m just renewing my driver’s license within six months of it expiring.  Yes, that means I’m going to have to save my pennies for my privilege of driving and being compliant with a federal standard that will require me to have this Real ID by 01 Oct 2020 regardless, so I might as well get it over with, right?  And Heaven forbid that you don’t have some form of one of these categories of paperwork!  You will need this Real ID to fly domestically, to enter any federal building, and basically to get anything important done by 01 Oct 2020, and it’s supposedly for the safety and security of our citizens.  Somehow, that doesn’t make me feel any better about the whole thing.  You’re still  going to have to go through the body scanners, get felt up by some security guard,  and step through the metal detector.  If you sense a bit of discontent and chagrin in my tone, you’d be reading this right…  Oh, and make sure you make an appointment!  By the way, did I mention that you can’t use your military ID for any of this?  I fought for this country to do this to me…and I’m supposed to say, “Thank you,” even though they won’t let me use my military ID for anything related to identification.  Sure.  Thanks.  Enough said.

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