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REAL ID

REAL IDThe REAL ID Act establishes 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. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

 

Current Status of States / Territories

To date, the states and territories have issued approximately 110 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, representing 40 percent of all driver’s licenses and identification card holders.

Please select a state/territory for current status.

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COMPLIANT
UNDER REVIEW
NOT COMPLIANT


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on December 20, 2013 a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act (the Act), as passed by Congress, that will implement the Act in a measured, fair, and responsible way.

Secure driver's licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. 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. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

DHS is committed to enforcing the REAL ID Act in accordance with the phased enforcement schedule and regulatory timeframes. It has been 15 years since the REAL ID Act was passed and half of all the states have already met the REAL ID minimum standards. It is time that the remaining jurisdictions turn their commitments to secure identification into action.

Description and Schedule of Enforcement Phases

The following enforcement measures are cumulative, with measures in each phase remaining in effect through successive phases. Each phase will begin with a 3-month period where agencies will provide notice to individuals attempting to use driver’s licenses or identification cards from noncompliant states but still allow access. After this period is over, agencies will no longer accept such identification for entry to Federal facilities, and individuals will need to follow the agency’s alternate procedures (to be made available by the agency).

  • Phase 1: Restricted areas (i.e., areas accessible by agency personnel, contractors, and their guests) for DHS’s Nebraska Avenue Complex (NAC) headquarters.
  • Phase 2: Restricted areas for all Federal facilities and nuclear power plants.
  • Phase 3: Semi-restricted areas (i.e., areas available to the general public but subject to ID-based access control) for most Federal facilities (subject to limitations described in the next section). Access to Federal facilities will continue to be allowed for purposes of applying for or receiving Federal benefits.
  • Phase 4: Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

For more information on Facility Security Level, please see the Interagency Security Committee standard, Section Four

Limitations

The Act does not require individuals to present identification where it is not currently required to access a Federal facility (such as to enter the public areas of the Smithsonian) nor does it prohibit an agency from accepting other forms of identity documents other than documents from non-compliant states (such as a U.S. passport or passport card).

The Act’s prohibitions do not affect other uses of driver’s licenses or identification cards – including licenses and cards from noncompliant states – unrelated to official purposes as defined in the Act.

For more information, please contact the REAL ID Program Office at REALID@dhs.gov.

Additional Information

Last Published Date: October 27, 2020

REAL ID News & Updates RSS Icon

Oct 1

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.

Sep 10

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.

Mar 26

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 https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-04-27/pdf/2020-08481.pdf

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