North Carolina Reaches One Year Mark for REAL ID

Last Updated on May 6, 2018 9:06 am

RALEIGH – In just one year, more than 445,000 North Carolinians have obtained REAL IDs from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles since the new identification debuted on May 1, 2017.

REAL ID is the single form of identification that meets new federal security requirements for boarding a commercial airplane and visiting federal facilities, including military installations. The requirements are already being enforced at Camp Lejeune.

The total number of REAL ID driver licenses and identification cards issued to-date is 445,401. Currently, REAL IDs account for 18 percent of all issuances.

“While many North Carolinians are ahead of the deadline, we have two short years to get four million of our residents prepared,” DMV Commissioner Torre J. Jessup said. “I encourage everyone to gather their documents and obtain their REAL ID now. Traveling by air will be easier with a REAL ID when the Transportation Security Administration begins enforcing tougher identification requirements at airports in 2020.”

The N.C. REAL ID is just like a traditional North Carolina license or ID, but has a star in the upper right corner. The federal REAL ID Act established the requirements and the program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

To obtain their first REAL ID, residents must bring the following verification documents to a local driver license office:

  • One (1) proof of identity, date or birth and/or legal presence (lawful status): certified birth certificate or unexpired U.S. Passport
  • One (1) proof of name change: certified marriage license or certified divorce decree
  • One (1) proof Social Security number: Social Security card, W-2 or 1099 tax form with full name and number
  • Two (2) proofs of current address: driver license, vehicle registration card, voter registration card, cable bill, utility bill or bank statement

DMV officials have a few tips for residents preparing to visit the DMV office for their first REAL ID:

  1. If your license or ID card expires in 2020, plan to renew your license as a REAL ID within six months of your expiration date. Your renewal fee will be the same.
  2. If your license or ID card expires after 2020, make an appointment now to obtain a REAL ID for $13. Once your card expires, you can renew it online.
  3. Bring your certified marriage license or court documents if your current name does not match your certified birth certificate or U.S. Passport.
  4. Decrease your wait time by scheduling an appointment at (919) 715-7000 for any driver license office.

Residents who choose not to get a REAL ID will have a license or ID card noted with “Not for Federal Identification”.

Without a REAL ID or U.S. Passport, travelers will have to provide additional identification to board a commercial flight and visit federal facilities beginning Oct. 1, 2020. The required identification may vary.

For more information about REAL ID, including the complete list of verification documents, visit

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