Hammond forum to focus on potential Real ID problems

Seeking to address potential problems that could arise when Real ID laws take effect Oct. 1, a Lake County judge and attorney will participate in a presentation this week aiming to resolve some of the issues lawyers and judges are seeing in court.

Lake Circuit Judge Marissa McDermott and Crown Point attorney Alfredo Estrada, partner at Burke Costanza & Carberry in Crown Point, will present “Real ID: What You Need to Know” Thursday at 6 p.m. (CST) at the Hammond Public Library, 564 State St. The presentation is free, and another presentation is scheduled at the Crown Point Library on April 9. Estrada will be available for free Real ID consultations at the Hammond event.

Effective Oct. 1, people will need a Real ID to enter federal buildings or board commercial airplanes. In Indiana, Real ID driver’s license and identification cards typically bear a star within a circle in the upper right-hand corner and have other security features.

But McDermott said many people, especially the elderly and those born in Puerto Rico, Mexico and elsewhere where both surnames are listed on birth certificates, may need to go to court to be able to have documents accepted by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The forums, McDermott said, are designed to inform people on what the law requires, encourage them to start gathering and reviewing their documents now, explain which options they may have to correct and align identifying documents, and prepare them for what to expect if they have to file and appear in court. McDermott has cautioned that some populations will face significant Real ID-related issues that may require court intervention.

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