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Military Life

What is a REAL ID?


If you’ve recently renewed your driver’s license, you may be familiar with the term “REAL ID,” a new form of identification that is replacing all U.S. drivers’ current state-issued licenses. The federal government established REAL IDs — with an application deadline of May 3, 2023 — to meet a set of national minimum standards. TSA will require you to present a REAL ID to fly within the United States starting May 3, 2023. . Federal facilities, including military bases, will also require that you have a REAL ID to gain access.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, REAL ID does not create a federal database of driver’s license information. Rather, it is a national set of standards to make identity documents more consistent and secure.

In accordance with the REAL ID Act H.R. 1268, the minimum issuance standards set by the federal government require showing the following documentation to receive a REAL ID:

  1. Full legal name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Social Security number
  4. Two proofs of address of principal residence; and
  5. Lawful status

States may impose additional requirements so check with your state’s driver's licensing agency before visiting in person.

PLEASE NOTE: You should take certified or original source documents to your REAL ID DMV appointment. If your legal name has changed, proof of name change may also be required. Proof of residency documents should be recent.

If you need help finding the necessary information, or if you have any questions, contact an AAFMAA Member Benefits representative at [email protected] or call 888-961-4573.

Read the full text of the law.

This article was originally published September 13, 2019.

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