The Real ID Act

Have you taken a good look at your driver’s license recently? If not, grab your wallet. If your license does not have a gold or black star in the upper corner, it is not considered a Real ID. The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act set higher minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards that will be accepted at federal agencies. The cards are built using new technology, so they are more difficult to forge. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

Determining if Your ID is Compliant

A few states have issued compliant IDs without a star, so it’s best to confirm with your state if you do not see a star on your license. If your card says “Not for Federal Identification” or “Federal Limits Apply,” then your card is not compliant. Those 18 or older planning on accessing a federal facility, entering a nuclear power plant, or boarding any commercial aircraft any time after October 1st of 2020 will need to obtain a Real ID. If you are unable to verify your identity with approved identification, you will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.

If you are unsure about the status of your current state, click here to view state regulations.

NC Real ID Requirements

To apply for an N.C. REAL ID driver license or identification card, you must visit an N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles driver license office with the documents outlined below.

  • One document (with full name) proving identity and date of birth
  • One document (with full name and full Social Security number) confirming Social Security number
  • Two documents (with current physical address) proving North Carolina residency
  • For individuals not born in the U.S., one document (with full name) proving legal presence/lawful status
  • If applicable, one or more documents verifying any name change

Click here to view the acceptable documents to obtain your NC Real ID Driver’s License.

Planning Ahead

States will not automatically send individuals compliant driver’s licenses, so get ahead of the game and renew your driver’s license or state ID early so you won’t have to rush it come 2020. You will need to apply in person and bring identifying documentation, such as a birth certificate or passport. On the other hand, you can decide whether or not you are comfortable flying domestically with your passport or another form of approved identification on TSA’s list. You may also check the status of your state’s compliance with the Real ID Act, considering some have been granted extensions.

Head on over to your local DMV to get started with the process so you can fly with ease at Albert J. Ellis Airport. Located near Jacksonville and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejune in Richlands, NC, we provide multiple flight options for travelers from Jacksonville, Morehead City, Hampstead, and beyond. Flights leave OAJ-Ellis multiple times daily, so your destination is just a flight away! Contact us today!