REAL ID Enforced in 2025

As DHS announced a few years ago, Congress had approved an act in 2005 that involved creating “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification”, such as a driver’s license. They created federal guidelines that state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards would have to follow, this would allow federal agencies to not accept state-issued licenses and identification cards that do not meet those standards for official purposes. Those purposes are:

  • Accessing certain federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants

The day that the REAL ID will be enforced is on May 7th, 2025.

Am I eligible to receive a REAL ID if I’m an immigrant?

For Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, it is possible to receive a temporary, or limited-term license. You would have to provide valid, documentary evidence that they have “approved deferred action” status, along with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and Social Security Numbers (SSN) in order to obtain a limited-term REAL ID. The expiration of the REAL ID is typically based upon the expiration of your DACA status.

If you’ve received permanent residency, you will also be able to receive the REAL ID. You would need to provide your valid, lawful permanent residency card, or if you have a pending renewal you would provide your expired lawful permanent residency card along with the receipt notice that states the extension of the validity period of your green card.

Most individuals with a lawful presence would be eligible to receive a REAL ID or Enhanced Driver’s License if they are able to provide proof of their lawful presence (typically in the form of a valid EAD or lawful permanent resident card), social security number, address, and date of birth.

Will I need a REAL ID to travel domestically?

At this moment, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that they will accept REAL ID or other approved alternatives for domestic flights. The alternative documents that they will accept in lieu of a REAL ID are U.S. and foreign passports, U.S. passport cards, permanent resident cards, border crossing cards, and USCIS Employment Authorization Documents (EAD).

REAL ID’s are not an acceptable form of sole identification for international travel, travelers must still use a U.S. or foreign passport.

An easy way to verify that your driver’s license or state identification is REAL ID compliant, there will be one of the following markings on the upper top portion of the cards. If this marking is not on your identification, it will not be considered REAL ID compliant and you may be denied boarding on a domestic aircraft or entrance into a federal agency.

The Department of Homeland security has provided an FAQ page for common questions individuals have regarding the new REAL ID Act, to view the FAQ click here.

Schedule a Consulation