The REAL ID Act, passed in 2005 as per the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation, establishes minimum standards for the issuance, security, and authentication of driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the minimum standards for boarding federally regulated commercial flights, accessing Federal facilities, and entering nuclear power plants.
On December 20, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act to implement it fairly and measured. The Department of Homeland Security states that it is committed to enforcing the Act in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule and regulatory timeframes. Starting 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.
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.
As of September 2020, all U.S. states are REAL ID-compliant.
On October 1, 2021, full enforcement of REAL ID will take effect at all federally regulated airports, federal facilities, and nuclear power plants.
Issued Starting (mm-dd-yy)
Digital ID Available
Digital ID URL
Standard ID Indicator
|Rhode Island||12-03-18||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|New Mexico||11-14-16||NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES (red, in yellow bar) at top|
|Nevada||11-12-14||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES|
|New York||10-31-17||NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES|
|Arkansas||10-03-16||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION (if issued before 07/09/18) NOT FOR FEDERAL ID (if issued on or after 07/09/18)|
|Connecticut||10-03-11||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Virginia||10-01-18||FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY|
|Louisiana||10-01-16||https://www.expresslane.org/||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Texas||10-01-16||No standard IDs issued|
|Florida||08-01-19||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Kansas||08-01-17||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Maine||07-01-19||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES (before October 2019) or NOT INTENDED FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES (starting October 2019)|
|Ohio||07-01-18||NOT FOR FEDERAL ID Note: Prior versions of Ohio credentials may have a gold star but are not REAL ID-compliant.|
|Washington||07-01-18||FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY (if issued on or after 07/01/2018)|
|Colorado||07-01-13||https://dmv.colorado.gov/||NOT VALID FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION, VOTING OR PUBLIC BENEFIT PURPOSES|
|Delaware||07-01-10||https://www.dmv.de.gov/||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION (If issued before 06/04/18), NOT FOR FEDERAL ID (If issued on or after 06/04/18)|
|Kentucky||06-28-19||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES|
|Maryland||06-20-16||https://mva.maryland.gov/Pages/MDMobileID_Apple.aspx||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|New Jersey||06-01-19||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES|
|North Dakota||05-01-18||No indicator|
|North Carolina||05-01-17||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|District of Columbia||05-01-14||NOT VALID FOR OFFICIAL FEDERAL PURPOSES|
|Nebraska||04-15-13||No standard IDs issued|
|Massachusetts||03-26-18||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Missouri||03-25-19||Yes||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES|
|Minnesota||03-01-19||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Pennsylvania||03-01-19||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES|
|South Carolina||03-01-18||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Arizona||02-01-23||https://azdot.gov/||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION (if issued before 07/09/18) NOT FOR FEDERAL ID (if issued on or after 07/09/18)|
|California||01-22-18||FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY|
|Michigan||01-21-19||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Hawaii||01-16-18||NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR OFFICIAL FEDERAL PURPOSES|
|Illinois||01-07-19||FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY|
|New Hampshire||01-03-17||NOR FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Alaska||01-02-19||FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY|
|Montana||01-01-19||NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION|
|Utah||01-01-19||https://dld.utah.gov/||NOT VALID FOR IDENTIFICATION (DRIVING PRIVILEGE ONLY)|
|Idaho||01-01-18||NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES|
|Wisconsin||01-01-15||NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES|
|Vermont||01-01-14||DRIVERS PRIVILEGE CARD|
|Wyoming||01-01-14||No standard IDs issued|
|Indiana||01-01-10||No indicator (if issued before 05/20/19), NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES (if issued on or after 05/20/19)|