Have you heard about the Real ID?

Linda Shannon-Hills

Take a look at your driver’s license.

If it doesn’t have a star in the upper corner of the card, then your license is not Real ID compliant. And if you’re planning to take a domestic commercial flight any time after Oct. 1, 2020, you’ll need to take action, make some decisions, or carry your passport.

The changes are a result of the Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005. The Real ID Act 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 state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act.

Is my Arizona license a Real ID?

Arizona is among states granted federal exemptions allowing valid driver licenses and state IDs to be used for travel until Oct. 1, 2020. The exemption was because Arizona did not offer a travel ID that meets Real ID Act requirements until quite recently.

Arizonans have the option now to obtain a Travel ID. It’s available by appointment at Motor Vehicle Division offices or without an appointment at an authorized third party provider offering driver’s license services. It costs $25 and in most cases is valid for eight years. The difference with a standard driver’s license is that you must present several more documents to qualify for the Arizona travel ID. Applicants must apply in person, and fill out the application before visiting an office at apps.azdot.gov/mvd/Application/ApplicationForm.aspx.

It’s not necessary, but you may make an appointment at servicearizona.com/webapp/moa/identifyUser/TravelId.

You must bring several categories of identification documents (listed below with examples of qualifying documents).

1. Bring one document: Proof of Identity (Birth certificate; U.S. Passport; Passport Card)

* If you need a certified copy of an Arizona birth certificate, the Arizona Department of Health Services now accepts online orders with expedited processing.

2. Bring one document: Proof of Social Security Number (Social Security card; W-2 form.

* To order a replacement Social Security card visit the Social Security Administration website (https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/) and establish an account.

3. Bring two documents: Proof of Arizona residency – two printed documents with your current Arizona residential address (utility bills; credit card/bank statements; insurance policy).

Note: The exact same name must be on these residency documents as on your Social Security Card. (This is unevenly enforced. If your Social Security card says “John J Smith” and your proof of residency says “John Jacob Smith” or “John Smith”, they may not accept that document as valid proof of residency.)

Note: If your current legal name is different from the one shown on a document, you must show legal proof of name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order. You might have to contact the utility company to change the name on the account to match your Social Security card.

Those who don’t have the required residency documents must complete an Arizona Residency Affidavit and supply additional proof of residency by visitng www.azdot.gov/docs/default-source/mvd-forms-pubs/40-5143.pdf?sfvrsn=10

Worth considering?

* If you’re using your driver’s license or ID card at airport security checkpoints.

* If you’re getting an Arizona Driver License or identification card for the first time.

* If you’re renewing your current license.

* If you’re getting a photo update to your current 12-year old license.

Not worth it?

* If you furnish documentation other than your driver license or identification card at airport security or to gain access to secure facilities. Note: A variety of documents other than a driver license are permissible at TSA checkpoints. For information on acceptable identification, please visit the TSA website: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

Note: Rules for international travel are unchanged, and a valid passport or equivalent will be required to travel outside the United States.


Homeland Security: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

Arizona Department of Transportation: https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/driver-services/arizona-travel-id/overview.