The tragedy of September 11 in the United States shed light on the threat of terrorism. In the years following the tragic incident, laws have been put in place to combat terrorism. One of those laws is the REAL ID Act.
Under the REAL ID Act, minimum security standards for the production and issuance of drivers licenses and state identification cards were put in place. If minimum standards are not met, individual federal agencies are prohibited from allowing entrance. Beginning on October 1, 2020, a person must have a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card to access federal facilities, board commercial aircraft, and enter nuclear power plants.
As of January 2019, some states are compliant and some states that have received an extension.
REAL ID compliant identification is marked with a gold star, making it easy for federal workers to distinguish between these compliant and non-compliant ID cards and licenses. However, there are a few states that have issued IDs without a star.
To receive a REAL ID, you must show proof of identity, proof of social security number, proof of address, and proof of all legal name changes. You must provide original or government-issued copies of all documentation.
It is important to note that not having a REAL ID does not affect your ability to drive, vote, or purchase items that require identification. You only need a REAL ID if you plan to board a commercial flight, enter a power plant, access federal facilities, or visit military bases.
In early 2019, the states that are REAL ID compliant include:
States that have been granted an extension are: