Bradley County has two locations where you can apply for a Real ID.
Both the Cleveland Driver Services Center and the Bradley County Clerk’s Office process Real ID applications.
The Real ID Act of 2005 established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, all persons must have a Real ID license for accessing certain federal buildings, entering nuclear facilities, and boarding commercial flights within the United States.
Bradley County Clerk Donna Simpson said if an applicant has all of his or her documentation and there is no line in her office at the Bradley County Courthouse, it takes only 10 to 15 minutes to get your Real ID.
“There’s only one (Real ID) station, so if there’s several people in front of you, it might take a little while,” she said. “It’s still a process.”
Simpson noted most applicants are getting duplicate IDs when they come in for their Real ID, unless they are coming in during the time of their regular renewal. The cost for a Real ID is $12 for the first duplicate. Renewal is every eight years.
“If your renewal is several years away, you can still get a Real ID, it’s just (categorized as) a duplicate,” Simpson said.
Cleveland resident Philip Lowry was pleased with how quickly the Real ID application process went on a recent Friday morning.
“I heard you could come here instead of the driver’s license office,” Lowry said, noting it took less than 10 minutes from the time he walked in as the first in line, until he walked out.
“It was not bad at all,” Lowry said.
Making sure you have all your necessary document is what takes the most time in applying for a Real ID.
Simpson said simply knowing your Social Security Number is not sufficient; instead, you must show proof in the form of approved documents showing your full name and full SSN.
Cheryl Jacques, a deputy clerk in Simpson’s office, said one of the most common issues female Real ID applicants face is not having proof of name change, like a marriage certificate or divorce decree.
“Your name has to be tracked all the way through (the application process),” Simpson said. “You just have that proof only if your name is different than your birth certificate.”
Copies of Tennessee birth certificates can be ordered through the County Clerk’s Office, helping streamline the process. Simpson’s office can also issue passports for those born in Tennessee.
You will need to present the following documents when applying for a Real ID:
These documents must show the applicant's legal name and full date of birth. Applicant must present one of the following documents:
• U.S. birth certificate from State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent with a raised and/or color seal;
• Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card;
• U.S. certificate or consular report of birth abroad (FS-240, DS-1350 or FS-545);
• Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card issued by DHS or INS (I-551);
• Unexpired Employment Authorization Document issued by DHS (I-766 or I-688B);
• Unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form;
• Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS (N-550, N-570, or N-578); or
• Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS (N-560 or N-561).
If there has been a name change from the Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Legal Presence presented, certified legal documents supporting name change must be presented. This may require presentation of multiple documents. Examples of supporting documents: Marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order.
Applicant must present one of the following approved documents showing applicant's name and full Social Security Number:
• W-2 (within last 12 months);
• 1099 (within last 12 months);
• Social Security Card; or
• Payroll check stub.
These documents must show the applicant's name and physical address. Applicant must present two of the following documents:
• Home utility bill (within past four months) i.e. Gas, electric, water from different providers; Online bills must have URL address displayed. Wireless phone plans cannot be accepted;
• Current Tennessee vehicle registration or certificate of title (may use one, not both);
• Current Tennessee Voter Registration card;
• IRS tax return (within last 12 months);
• Bank statement (within past four months);
• Payroll check stub (within past four months);
• Current rental/mortgage contract or receipt, including deed of sale for property; handwritten rental contracts or agreements must be notarized;
• Current homeowner or renter insurance policy;
• Current automobile, life or health insurance policy;
• Receipt for personal property or real estate taxes paid within the previous year;
• Installment loans, such as automobile, student loan, bank loans;
• Current employer verification of resident address or letter from employer as long as it is on company letterhead with original signature; if employer does not have letterhead, then signature of employer must be notarized;
• Current Driver License or ID or Handgun Carry Permit issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety to a parent, legal guardian or spouse of the applicant; or
• Applicant's Driver License, ID or Handgun Carry Permit issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety.
You should also be prepared to provide documentation of any name changes that may have occurred. This may require presentation of multiple documents.
All documents must be originals or certified. No photocopies will be accepted.
These documents will be required even if you are already a Tennessee license or ID holder and are applying for a Real ID compliant credential for the first time or if you are a new Tennessee resident and were previously issued a Real ID in a different state.
In addition to the clerk’s office, applicants can go to the Cleveland Driver Services Center to apply for a Real ID. The center is a full-service location, which offers testing services along with basic services such as driver license issuance, ID issuance, MVR, vision testing, knowledge and skills testing, and handgun permits.
The center is located at 301 James Asbury Drive N.W., Cleveland, TN 37312. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; but please note closing times listed do not always reflect applicants will be accepted up to that time. It may be necessary to cease taking applicants earlier in order to complete processing by the end of the business day.
For more information, call the Cleveland Driver Services Center at 478-0346.
Simpson said her office became a Real ID application point after hearing “how long the wait was at the driver services center.” She noted the State of Tennessee “kind of put county clerks who were willing to help in the fast track to offer it.”
Simpson praised her staff for working to help make the Real ID process simple and straightforward for applicants.
The Bradley County Clerk’s Office issues Real IDs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, call 728-7226.
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