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REAL ID Act of 2005


Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the implementation the REAL ID Act. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.

Print Toolkit

The print toolkit provides signage and collateral that can be printed and distributed electronically by government and industry partners. The toolkit includes a fact sheet, postcards, flyers, posters and pull-up banner graphics. 

DHS Launches “Be Your REAL ID Self” Public Awareness Campaign

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun a new nationwide public awareness campaign, “Be Your REAL ID Self” to promote awareness of the REAL ID requirements and encourage the public to act before the October 1, 2021 full enforcement deadline.

Campaign Toolkits

Government and industry partners promote the “Be Your REAL ID Self” Public Awareness Campaign as part of integrated efforts to improve the security of our homeland. Achieving REAL ID readiness is a collective effort between federal, state and local governments, as well as industry partners. Partners are crucial in driving awareness, education and adoption of REAL ID by their customers and constituents.

Social Media Toolkit

The “Be Your REAL ID Self” campaign offers a Social Media Toolkit with content that can be leveraged on all your social channels to drive awareness and action for REAL ID in advance of the October 1, 2021 enforcement deadline.

12 Months Remaining Until Full REAL ID Enforcement Deadline

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reminding Americans that only 12 months remain until the October 1, 2021 REAL ID enforcement goes into effect. DHS continues to urge Americans to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card or acceptable alternative well before this deadline.

All US States Now Compliant Ahead of REAL ID Deadline

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the Department) is announcing that after more than 15 years since Congress passed the REAL ID Act, all 50 states are now in full compliance issuing these cards, with most states becoming compliant in the last four years.

REAL ID FAQs Translations

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding the implementation the REAL ID Act, translated into Vietnamese, Spanish, Tagalog, Simplified Chinese, and French.

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf Statement on the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline

Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days.

NOTE: The published Federal Register notice can be found at


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