Montana State University Billings has partnered with the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of Montana for a new REAL ID campaign in 2020-2021.

As the extended deadline of REAL ID approaches, a 2021 REAL ID campaign is being created by MSUB students and faculty members. Less than a year away, on October 1, 2021, domestic travel and entering federal institutions will no longer be accessible without a REAL ID or passport identification.

This academic year, MSUB students enrolled in Integrated Marketing Communications and Research Methods participated in a study similar to that of 2017-2018, to design the “Real Me” campaign featuring historical figures Lewis and Clark. Marketing Instructor, Dr. A.J. Otjen of the College of Business and Dr. Sarah Keller of the Department of Communication lead the courses.

Campaign work began by sending a survey on the effectiveness of the campaign, to 5,000 registered Montana voters. An analysis of these results showed that people exposed to the Real Me ads on TV, radio or social media were more likely to have a REAL ID, or intend to get one in the near future. People who saw or heard the ads were also more likely to believe that the REAL ID process was easy to understand. Students enrolled in these courses have crafted new messages to further clarify how to get a secure driver’s license or identification. Production of the new REAL ID campaign is underway.

In 2017-2018, MVD partnered with students and faculty of MSU Billings to create and promote the REAL ID campaign. The award-winning campaign was produced to inform Montana citizens about the costs, benefits, and requirements of the REAL ID, with a Lewis and Clark theme.

Beyond the Telly Awards and national accolades, the work completed in 2017-2018 was compiled into a recently published article by lead author Dr. Keller, with co-authors Dr. Otjen and Dr. Timothy Wilkinson of Whitworth University. The article titled “REAL ID: privacy concerns still a factor, but weakly so” was published in the Journal of Transportation Security this year.

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