SAN JUAN – Puerto Rican authorities started issuing this Monday the country’s new driver’s licenses that meet federal standards for enhanced security.
Real ID is the name of the format of Puerto Ricans’ new licenses, the press spokeswoman of the Transportation and Public Works Department, Aracelys Otero, told EFE.
“What we’re doing is complying with federal policy,” Otero said about the new licenses, which Puerto Ricans have until Oct. 1, 2020, to obtain, according to an ordinance imposed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Until then, Puerto Ricans will be able to use their current driver’s licenses or their U.S. passports as official documents.
“This doesn’t mean that all Puerto Ricans have to race out to get a Real ID license or identification card,” Transportation and Public Works Secretary Miguel A. Torres Diaz said in a press release.
“What it means is that you can apply for a Real ID license or identification card, which automatically becomes an official document accepted by security controls in airports whenever you travel between the United States and Puerto Rico,” he said.
The new format diminishes the risk of identity theft and reflects the holder’s Social Security number, blood type and whether he or she is an organ and/or tissue donor.