City online system to get REAL ID overwhelmed with requests

News

If you tried to go online and get a gold star on your Oahu driver’s license, and could not get through, you’re not the only one.

Several hundred others had the same experience. The city says its system was overwhelmed, so they’re working to fix the problem.

That wasn’t the only problem. There were some able to get through online, who later got a call saying their request could not be processed.

City, state, and federal officials made a push on Thursday to remind travelers that if you’re at least 18 years old and want to use your driver’s license to get through TSA security to board a domestic flight, you will need the official gold star on your license starting October 1, 2020.

On Oahu, if you renewed your license on May 1, 2014 and after, you can get what’s known as your REAL ID online. So Oahu residents did, and overwhelmed the system.

The city says it normally gets about 40 requests a day.

“At the end of Friday last week there were about 250 requests. At the end of today we have about 920 requests,” said Sheri Kajiwara, director of city Department of Customer Services.

The problem is, once your request goes through online, a person still has to manually look through the records to make sure all the documents are there. So the city is working on making it fully automated.

“So they’re actually working around the clock through tonight to see if they can do some fixes that tomorrow they can be a little more successful. So if you want to try again tomorrow that’s one suggestion. But I’d say just wait for the traffic to die down a little bit, give it a week. I’m sure a lot more people will be successful then,” said Kajiwara.

Some got through online only to get a phone call later on saying not all the documents are on the record. Kajiwara says it could be a clerical or system error.

It could also have something to do with a problem that occurred in 2017 when the records of some 66,000 people got lost in the system.

“If you are notified that you are missing something they need, then we will have accommodations for you to have service at the window without any wait,” said Kajiwara.

There are other forms of identification you can use to travel such as a passport or a military ID. But if you want to use your license, you need that gold star by October next year.

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