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Real ID

Real ID

Real ID

The REAL ID deadline has been pushed back due to COVID-19. The new deadline has been set for May 7, 2025. If you're applying for a REAL ID, check with your state's DMV to see if the deadline extension will affect you.

What exactly is the REAL ID Act?

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for licenses and ID cards. It ensures that all states adhere to the same standards when issuing these documents. While it is not a national ID, it gives federal authorities confidence that someone with a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card meets the security standards required to enter certain federally regulated locations.

What impact does REAL ID have on me?

REAL ID primarily affects travelers and those who visit federal buildings or areas on a regular basis.

A federal government-accepted form of identification is a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card. It is required to board a plane, enter a military base, or gain access to federal buildings (such as courthouses or legislative buildings) and nuclear facilities.

Regular (non-compliant) licenses will no longer be accepted as valid federal identification beginning May 7, 2025. If you regularly engage in any of the previously mentioned activities, the REAL ID Act will have the greatest impact on you. You will need to bring additional proof of identity, such as a valid passport, if you do not have a REAL ID-compliant license.

Is a REAL ID required?

No, getting a REAL ID driver's license or identification card is not required. However, many states have updated their ID issuance requirements so that all licenses and ID cards meet federal standards automatically.

A REAL ID-compliant credential can be useful if:

  • You want to use your driver's license or identification card for domestic flights within the United States.
  • You frequently visit secure federal facilities and prefer to gain access with your license or ID card.

You do not need a REAL ID license or ID card if you prefer to use a U.S. passport or passport card, military ID, enhanced driver's license, or any other form of federally accepted identification for these purposes. Most states, however, strongly advise you to apply for a REAL ID-compliant license during your next renewal.

Real ID by State

Follow your state link to obtain more information about Real ID complaint and legislation.

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