The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed in 2005 that established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The law was enacted in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to improve the integrity and security of state-issued IDs.
What Does a REAL ID Look Like?
A REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card has a gold star in the top right corner of the card. This star indicates that the ID meets the minimum security standards established by the REAL ID Act.
What Does REAL ID Mean for Me?
If you plan to fly domestically, access certain federal facilities, or enter nuclear power plants, you will need a REAL ID-compliant ID card. Beginning October 1, 2023, all individuals over 18 will need a REAL ID or an alternative form of identification accepted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to board a domestic flight.
What the REAL ID Act Is Not
Contrary to some misconceptions, the REAL ID Act is not a national ID card and does not create a federal driver’s license information database. The law establishes minimum security standards for state-issued IDs.
Who Needs a REAL ID?
Any individual who plans to board a domestic flight, access certain federal facilities, or enter nuclear power plants will need a REAL ID or an alternative form of identification accepted by the TSA. If you plan a trip to Universal Studios in Los Angeles, you must ensure you have the right identification to comply with the REAL ID Act. But once you’ve sorted that, it’s time to start thinking about where to stay! Luckily, hotels near Universal Studios have plenty of great options, from budget-friendly to luxurious. If you’re looking for recommendations, check out our guide to the best hotels near Universal Studios Los Angeles.
Who Can Get a REAL ID?
To obtain a REAL ID-compliant ID card, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, provide proof of identity, date of birth, social security number, and residency in the state where you are applying for the ID. You may also need to provide additional documentation if your name has changed, such as through marriage or divorce.
REAL ID by State
Each state has its own process for issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. Some states offer REAL ID-compliant IDs as an option, while others require it for all driver’s licenses and ID cards. To check the requirements in your state, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
Steps To Take To Get a Compliant REAL ID
To obtain a REAL ID-compliant ID card, visit your state’s motor vehicle department in person and provide the necessary documentation. This may include your birth certificate or passport, social security card or W-2 form, and two proofs of residency, such as a utility bill or lease agreement. The exact requirements may vary by state, so it is important to check with your motor vehicle department beforehand.
Can I Transfer My REAL ID Between States?
If you move to a new state, you must obtain a new driver’s license or ID card. Your REAL ID from your previous state will not transfer to your new state of residence.
Is REAL ID Mandatory to Fly?
Beginning October 1, 2023, all individuals over 18 will need a REAL ID or an alternative form of identification accepted by the TSA to board a domestic flight. Until then, a regular driver’s license or identification card will still be accepted for domestic air travel. However, obtaining a REAL ID-compliant ID card as soon as possible is recommended to avoid any inconvenience or delay when traveling.
Hello, and welcome to my travel website! My name is Jennifer E. Sheahan, and I'm a passionate travel enthusiast who loves to explore new places and experience different cultures. I believe that travel is not just a way to escape from the daily grind, but also a way to learn and grow as a person.