Gov. Laura Kelly stepped to the Station 8 counter at the driver's license office in Topeka to apply for a driver's license containing the Real ID mark that will be required in less than one year of any adult passengers boarding domestic airline flights.
She made an appointment at the DMV for 9:30 a.m. Friday to avoid the hassle of waiting in line. It took under 20 minutes to complete the process, which required the governor to present her passport, Social Security card and two documents proving Kansas residency. She decided to bring a home utility bill and a paycheck stub.
"I suggest you not put this off until the last minute," Kelly said.
The governor can expect to receive her new license within five weeks.
David Harper, director of vehicles at the Kansas Department of Revenue, said Real ID provisions adopted by Congress set a national standard for issuance of driver's licenses or official identification cards.
It isn't mandatory for Kansans to take additional steps to obtain the Real ID, he said, but the new identification cards would control access to domestic flights and civilians wanting to enter a military base and some federal buildings as of Oct. 1, 2020.
So far, 888,000 Kansans have obtained a license or ID card with the Real ID gold star indicator. Also, 390,000 people have opted not to take part in Real ID.
Harper said an estimated 60% to 70% of Kansas driver's licenses will become Real ID compliant by next year's start date.
"In recent months," he said, "our efforts have been focused on meeting that potential increased demand in our offices for those customers without increasing wait times."
The 10 largest driver's license offices in Kansas, located in Wichita, Topeka, Manhattan, Lawrence and the Kansas City area, which handle more than two-thirds of the division's transactions, allow residents to make appointments up to 30 days in advance. Typically, he said, people who make an appointment have been able to finish the process in 20 minutes.
"It's a good feature for us. You can control traffic," he said.
He said the agency was deploying mobile driver's license units that would be on university campuses or places where large numbers of people were employed.
In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act to enact the 9/11 Commission's recommendation to set a minimum-security standard for state-issued driver's licenses. Kansas started issuing Real ID credentials in August 2017.