Federal Identification Requirement Change Coming In Less Than Nine Months

REAL ID Act Goes into Effect on May 3, 2023

Image Credit: tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

If you don’t already have a Real ID driver’s license or a Real ID credential, don’t let the upcoming deadline catch you unawares. Tennesseans, and all Americans 18 and up, have less than nine months left to get the new identification card which sports a gold star and enhanced security features that make them more difficult for criminals to fake.

Beginning May 3rd, 2023, you can no longer use a standard state issued driver’s license or ID to board commercial flights and to access some federal facilities. Without a Real ID license, you will need an alternate form of identification such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID to pass through Homeland Security checkpoints. 

The Real ID Act of 2005 established minimum security standards for license issuance and production after the 9/11 attacks. Over the last 17 years, the Act has been postponed numerous times. The pandemic was one of the reasons for more recent delays, but no more extensions will be issued and the Act will be enforced next May. 

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To avoid a last minute rush of applications, the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is encouraging everyone to apply for their new card in a timely manner. Tennessee has already issued 2,259,820 REAL ID credentials to date.

Application for a Real ID must be completed in person at a DMV or participating county clerk’s office. The cost is the same as a standard Tennessee license which is $28. An additional $8 will be charged if the Real ID is obtained outside of the renewal period (or possibly depending on your license classification.)

When applying, you must show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence, proof of social security number and 2 proofs of Tennessee residency. Click HERE for a list of all acceptable documents.  Documents can also be uploaded in advance HERE.

If you do not upgrade to the new ID come May 2023 you will still be able to drive, vote, purchase alcohol and cigarettes, visit the post office, access hospitals and federal courts, as well as apply for and receive federal benefits such as social security. You will even be able to board domestic commercial flights as long as you show a valid passport or one of the following:

  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License from a state other than Tennessee
  • An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)

Visit www.tn.gov/tnrealid for more information on Real ID requirements or to read about the Real ID Act of 2005.

The most recent press release regarding REAL ID can be found HERE.

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

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