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It was our intent to make this week's column free of disease. Alas, that bug going around touches nearly every detail of life, including driving. And driving is the focus of this space.

That, and the meaning of life. About which, at the bottom.

The federal government has pushed back the Oct. 1 deadline for when Americans must have the Real ID driver's license to get on a domestic flight. A new deadline isn't yet set, but the idea was not to create a mad rush for revenue offices across the country.

A little social distancing, please.

The Real ID is borne of a previous national crisis, terrorism. Real IDs have security features resistant to counterfeiting, and require folks to really, really prove who they really, really are.

Scott Hardin of the state's Department of Finance and Administration said the deadline extension won't affect anything. Only 25 revenue offices previously had the training and technology to issue the licenses; as of Feb. 1, all 134 offices have that capability.

About 300,000 Arkansans have Real IDs, Hardin said. That represents about 14% of active licenses in the state. He said when the new deadline is set the agency will promote it.

Life does go on in spite of this new addition to the 1,000 natural shocks that flesh is heir to.

In our house, the Fabulous Babe has a Real ID. The Mahatma, also known as The Great Procrastinator, does not. We were pleased to read, though, that a fishing license is one of the secondary documents needed to prove identity. We have a fishing license, and aren't afraid to use it. Mostly to no avail.

Revenue offices across the state remain open with normal hours with some exceptions, Hardin said. Twenty offices now closed are located within buildings that have been closed by county governments. The closed offices, through Monday and surely subject to change, are Rogers, Gravette, Hamburg, McGehee, Decatur, Corning, Piggott, Mountainburg, Charleston, Smackover, Walnut Ridge, Augusta, Cave City, Manila, Ash Flat, Benton, Horseshoe Bend, Wynne, Mammoth Spring and Dover.

It occurs to us that this list includes many of the beautiful place names for which Arkansas is, or should be, famous. Our favorite is Evening Shade. Or maybe Umpire. Or maybe Elaine ... .

Lots of revenue office services can be done online, Hardin said. They include registering a vehicle, ordering a replacement driver's license that can be mailed, and ordering a personalized license plate. Do this and more at

Hello Drivetime Mahatma: Having just done a presentation on the cardinal virtues, I can affirm that there are four: prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. Faith, hope and charity are the three theological virtues. You are correct that all seven of these major virtues are applicable to driving. -- Ann

Dear Ann: Forgive us for putting all of those virtues into one Easter basket. All over Baltimore, catechists are slapping their foreheads.

Vanity plate seen around town: BLKQUEN.

Metro on 03/28/2020


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