Getting Real ID Ready: What You Need to Know

We recently wrote about the impending Real ID legislature that will take effect October 1, 2020 to shed some light on the what, why and when of the new ID, one of the accepted forms of ID that travelers will need to use in place of a regular driver’s license for domestic flights. However, most Americans still do not have a Real ID, so we are here to tell you all you need to know about how to get one.

Here is your comprehensive checklist on what you need to bring to the DMV and what you can expect upon arriving at the DMV:

1.) First, make an online appointment and expect delays in larger cities. Time frames can vary from weeks to months, being flexible on your location will help. You do not need to go to your nearest DMV.

2.) It is recommended to fill out the online application prior to your DMV visit. This will save you the time from having to fill it out in person during your visit.

3.) Gather the following mandatory documents to bring with you to the DMV:

 

  • One Identity Document that includes your date of birth and your true full name (first, middle and last). Applicable documents include an original or certified copy (no photocopies) of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card, or foreign passport with an approved form I-94. View a full list of applicable documents here.

 

  • One proof of Social Security Number such as your original SSN card, W-2 or paystub with full SSN.

 

  • Two proof of Residency Documents such as a rental or lease agreement, mortgage bill, utility bill or employment, medical or school document.

 

  • If applicable: An original or certified copy of a name change document, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, may be required.

 

4.) There will be a fee to pay for the license at the DMV, fees will vary by state.

 

IS A REAL ID ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED?

A Real ID will be required for domestic travel (not driving) when the law is enacted. However, there are other forms of acceptable identification in addition to the Real ID:

  • Valid Passport
  • Passport Card
  • Military ID
  • Global Entry Card 

Here is a checklist to ensure you only make one visit to the DMV!