The state has created a website where you can find out if Kansas has enough information on you to qualify for a Real ID card the next time you renew your driver's license.
That could be critical information: If the state doesn't have all your documents on file, you could be headed for a long paper chase or have to give up your right to enter a federal building or board an airliner.
The new site is at www.kdor.ks.gov/Apps/DLStatus/secure/default.aspx.
There, you'll enter your driver's license number, name and date of birth and the system will give you an answer — yes or no — as to whether the Department of Revenue has enough information on file to issue you a Real ID.
If not, you could be in for some searching, especially if you were born in another state.
You'll have to bring the following documents in to qualify for a Real ID.
1. A state-issued birth certificate or passport. The cost and how long it takes to get a birth certificate varies by state. Most states charge about $20, but it can be as cheap as $7 (North Dakota) or as expensive as $34 (Michigan). It usually takes a month or so to get a certificate by mail unless you pay extra for expedited processing and shipping.
2. An unlaminated original Social Security card, a W-2 form or a pay stub with your Social Security number printed on it.
3. If you're a married woman whose current name doesn't match the birth certificate, or if you changed your name for some other reason, you'll need the marriage certificate, divorce decree or other government document tracking the name change.
4. Proof of address. This usually is a utility bill in your name with your address on it. Junk mail and personal letters don't count.
What the website won't tell you is which pieces of identification you might be missing at the state.
"If they do the search and it comes up that they do not have the required documents (on file), we just advise that they bring in everything," said Rachel Whitten, spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue.
Although much of the information — including Social Security documentation — is already on file at the Revenue Department for every Kansas taxpayer, that data is kept in a different computer system and can't be accessed for driver's license ID purposes, Whitten said.
If you are unable to obtain the necessary records before you need to file for your license, you'll still be able to get a card making it legal for you to drive.
However, that card will be stamped "NOT FOR FEDERAL ID."
Starting Oct. 1, 2020, that card won't get you through security at an airport or into federal buildings where ID is required.
Whitten emphasized that the Real ID requirement is a feature of federal law, and that the state is only requiring your documents to comply with federal rules.