(WTRF) – If you have it handy, go ahead and take a look at your driver’s license. 

Is it a Real ID? If not, you may want to consider starting the process to get one. Officials with Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles say the deadline is coming faster than you think. 

I know some of us like to put things off until the last minute, but I’d go ahead and get that now that the DMVs are open again and you have an opportunity to access it. 

Senator Rob Portman, (R) Ohio

Sometimes we are a population of procrastination and the continuous delay of the Real ID deadline has many people still putting it off. 

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles said only 48% of people in the Buckeye State have gotten their Real ID, which is actually better than the national average. 

After May 3rd of 2023 you will need either a Real ID or a U.S. Passport or a military ID to really get on any commercial air flights.

Charlie Norman, Ohio State Registrar of Motor Vehicles

You will need a Real ID to get on a commercial flight or do any other federally regulated task like accessing a federal building or military base.

To get one go to your local BMV office, but you’ll need some documentation that proves a few things first. 

Your full legal name, your date of birth, your social security number, your residence here in Ohio and your citizenship or legal status here in the country.

Charlie Norman, Ohio State Registrar of Motor Vehicles

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has an interactive checklist that will help you decide which documents you need at bmv.ohio.gov.

Officials said the Real ID is a more secure card and getting one is a more secure process. 

Lawmakers believe a better identification system helps with larger issues our country is facing. 

Having a real ID is also important to me for immigration purposes. I think one of the problems we have in our immigration system is that there are fraudulent IDs out there, social security cards, drivers licenses and the Real ID is more secure. I think that’s a good thing for our country.

Senator Rob Portman, (R) Ohio

While the deadline is still nine months away, don’t wait till the last minute to apply. 

The Ohio BMV expects backups as the cutoff nears and you’ll want to be ready in case of last-minute plans. Plus, a Real ID is not issued on site. It is sent to you in the mail a few days after you apply at the BMV.

Even if you think you might not fly, you never know. You never know when your employer may ask you to go to a conference or you may have to go out of town for a funeral or forget about vacations or things like that.

Charlie Norman, Ohio State Registrar of Motor Vehicles

Norman said the Ohio BMV has another tool that can help people when getting their Real ID. It’s a virtual queue that allows you to wait in line before you actually arrive to the BMV. Find that at bmv.ohio.gov.

An important note for those not in Ohio. That May 2023 deadline applies to all states across the country.