How to get a REAL ID and use it for travel
The REAL ID Act is a law that sets higher security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards (IDs).
Learn how and why to upgrade to a REAL ID to use for air travel and more.
Why upgrade your license to a REAL ID?
Beginning May 7, 2025, if you have not upgraded your driver’s license or state-issued ID to be REAL ID-compliant, you will not be able to use it to:
Visit the REAL ID website for more details and frequently asked questions.
Check to see if your license or state ID is already REAL ID-compliant
If your driver's license or state ID has a star in the upper right-hand corner, it is already REAL-ID-compliant. There is nothing more you need to do.
How to get a REAL ID
When you apply for or renew your driver’s license or state identification card, you can choose to make it REAL ID-compliant. Find and visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to see what documentation you will need. Your new card will have the REAL ID star marking at the top right.
Using REAL ID and other ID options to board a plane
If you do not upgrade your license or state ID, you can use a passport or one of these other acceptable forms of identification to fly.
Can you still get a non-REAL ID-compliant license or state ID?
You will still be able to get a driver's license or state ID card that is not REAL ID-compliant. But you will not be able to use it for air travel or to get into federal facilities or military installations. Find and visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to see how to get a non-REAL ID-compliant license or state ID.
LAST UPDATED: April 13, 2023
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