What Is REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. Beginning May 7, 2025, all persons must have a REAL ID license for accessing certain Federal buildings, entering nuclear facilities, and boarding commercial flights within the United States.



REAL ID compliant driver licenses and Identification credentials have a gold circle with a star in the right corner of the license to indicate it is REAL ID compliant. 




Non-REAL ID driver licenses and identification credentials display the phrase, "NOT FOR REAL ID ACT PURPOSES" on the front of the credential. 

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You do NOT need a REAL ID to:

  • Drive
  • Vote
  • Purchase alcohol or cigarettes
  • Access hospitals
  • Visit the post office
  • Access federal courts
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits such as social security or veterans’ benefits