By John Ramos

CONCORD (KPIX) — On Oct. 1, the federal government will begin requiring either a passport or the new REAL ID card to board any domestic flight in the country.

But what if you don’t have the birth certificate needed to get one? In Contra Costa County, they’re actually willing to meet you at the DMV to help you out.

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People coming to the DMV office in Concord were hoping the task of getting the new type of identification would go smoothly. The DMV offered some advice.

“We want all customers to come fully prepared on their first visit so they won’t be turned away and have to make additional trips,” said DMV spokesperson Anita Gore.

Kenny Blackmon should have listened. The Antioch resident eventually got his REAL ID, but the birth certificate he brought to Concord was a photocopy. He had to travel to Martinez to get one that was certified.

“I had to do a separate trip to get that,” he said. “Kind of a nuisance. I had to come here 3 or 4 times in order to complete the process.”

The REAL ID process requires the following:

  • Proof of identity (a valid passport, birth certificate)
  • Legal name change document (marriage certificate, adoption papers)
  • Proof of Social Security number
  • Two proofs of CA residency (utility bills, bank statement)
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It helps if you’re well organized. But what if you’re like Michael Wright from Antioch? When asked if he knew where his birth certificate was, he replied with a laugh, “Not really. I may be able to find it and then again I may not.”

It is a common problem at the Contra Costa Clerk/Recorder’s office.

“It’s one of our main business lines here in the Clerk/Recorders office,” said Barbara Dunmore, Assistant County Clerk/Recorder. “We issue them everyday, multiple copies sometimes.”

So, to help REAL ID seekers, the county is announcing the “Records Within Reach” program. Workers will set up a station at the DMV on Saturday February 1st and 15th to issue certified copies of birth and marriage certificates on the spot.

Of course, those two events had to have occurred in Contra Costa County. The program will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Concord DMV office on Diamond Boulevard and no appointment is necessary.

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There will be a charge of $32 for a birth certificate and $19 for a marriage certificate, but that seems worth it if it means one less trip to the DMV.