North Carolina To Offer REAL ID Licenses And ID Cards

Last Updated on April 26, 2017 8:26 pm

RALEIGH – On May 1, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will begin producing the state’s first REAL ID, an optional license or identification card that meets the security requirements of the federal REAL ID Act.

Frequent air travelers and visitors to military installations and federal facilities may want to consider applying for an N.C. REAL ID. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, the Transportation Security Administration and other agencies will require a REAL ID for commercial air travel and access to federal buildings, military installations and nuclear facilities.

Persons without a REAL ID will still be able to board flights and enter federal facilities, but they will need to provide additional identification along with their standard license. For more information about required documentation, contact the TSA or other relevant federal agency.

“The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles has worked extremely hard to prepare our state to meet this new federal requirement,” said NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard. “We are glad to offer this optional, single ID to help our citizens travel and access federal facilities.”

Residents must visit a driver license office to apply for their first N.C. REAL ID. Applicants must provide:

  • One document that proves identity, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, or immigration documents;
  • One document that verifies birth, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or immigration documents;
  • One document that confirms their Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or W-2 form;
  • Two documents that establish residency in North Carolina, such as a utility bill, vehicle registration card, or bank statement.

A complete list of documents that are acceptable proofs of identity and residency is available at

The N.C. REAL ID will have a gold star in the top right corner to indicate the identity and residency documents are permanently stored with the NCDMV record. Citizens who prefer to keep their current license or ID will receive credentials that carry the notation “Not for Federal Identification.” 

North Carolina’s REAL ID will be available at the same cost as a standard driver license and identification card. An N.C. REAL ID can be obtained at the time of renewal or before the renewal period for the cost of a duplicate.

The new standards were established by the federal REAL ID Act, which was passed in 2005 following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Act is administered by the Department of Homeland Security.

More information on North Carolina’s REAL ID is available at


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