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REAL ID Requirement Beginning October 1, 2020

Published May 20, 2019

As a reminder to the research community, as of October 1, 2020, a REAL ID will be required for all domestic flights and to enter federal offices (NIH, NSF, etc.). We recommend that you prepare soon for this upcoming change.


“REAL ID” comes from the REAL ID Act of 2005, a federal law that focused on fraud protection, anti-terrorism, and driver license and non-driver license identification card (ID card) security. The REAL ID Act prohibits federal agencies from accepting state driver licenses and ID cards that do not meet these standards. Starting October 1, 2020, residents from every U.S. State will be required to present a REAL-ID driver license or ID card for official purposes.

Beginning October 1, 2020 you will need a REAL ID to:
• Board domestic flights
• Visit secure federal facilities, including military bases and federal courthouses
• Visit federal offices such as the NIH, NSF, DOD or DOE

The new REAL ID requirement does not affect current use of your license or ID card for the purpose of driving, voting or registering to vote, State purposes, or for age verification.


To apply for the REAL ID, you will be required to submit the following valid, original documents demonstrating proof of:

  • Identity
    • One document to verify full legal name and date of birth
    • Example: Unexpired U.S. Passport or Certified U.S. Birth Certificate (see below for links to additional examples)
  • Lawful Status
    • One document to verify United States citizenship or immigration status
    • Example: Unexpired U.S. Passport, Certified U.S. Birth Certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, or Permanent Resident Card (
      see below for links to additional examples )
  • Social Security Number
    • One acceptable document that contains your name and SSN
    • Example: Social Security Card, W-2 form, pay stub with Name and SSN (
      see below for links to additional examples )
  • Proof of Residence
    • Two recent documents verifying residential address
    • Example: Bank or financial statement, property tax receipt, utility bill, or voter registration card (
      see below for links to additional examples )

For additional examples of documents of identity, visit:


You can apply now at your state license office for a REAL ID driver license or ID card. For more information, go to MO Department of Revenue for Missouri residents, or IL Secretary of State for Illinois residents.