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REAL ID Credential

Effective May 1, 2014, the District of Columbia will begin issuing a REAL ID credential.

The REAL ID credential requires a one-time revalidation of source documents when obtaining, renewing or requesting a duplicate DC driver license or identification card. This validation will enable the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure your identity and issue a federally compliant REAL ID driver license/identification card. The new requirements will affect what you will need to bring to the DC DMV office when obtaining, renewing or requesting a duplicate credential. First time DC applicants and existing DC driver license/identification card holders should expect to provide source documents as proof of identity (full legal name and date of birth), social security number, lawful presence in the United States, and current residence in the District of Columbia.

REAL ID FAQs  (Updated as of:  April 23, 2014)

 

  1. What is “REAL ID”?

REAL ID is a coordinated effort by US jurisdictions and the Federal Government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification. REAL ID implements a 9/11 Commission recommendation urging the Federal Government to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver licenses.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is implementing REAL ID through a period of phased enforcement over the next several years. In particular, the date for implementing the prohibition on boarding aircraft travel will be set after an evaluation of earlier phases and will not occur sooner than 2016.

 

  1. What does REAL ID require?

The REAL ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum standards for the production and issuance of driver licenses and identification cards and authorizes grants to assist jurisdictions in implementing the requirements.  The Act also prohibits federal agencies from accepting for official uses driver licenses and identification cards from jurisdictions unless the DHS determines the jurisdiction meets the standards. Official uses are defined as accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants and boarding federally-regulated commercial aircrafts.

  1. Is REAL ID a national identification card?

No. REAL ID is not a national identification card.  US jurisdictions will continue to issue driver licenses and identification cards, and there is no federal database of driver information. Each jurisdiction will issue its own unique license and maintain its own records.

 

  1. What are the different phases of REAL ID enforcement?

 

 

Phase

Location

Enforcement Date

Phase 1

Restricted areas (i.e., areas accessible by agency personnel, contractors, and their guests) for DHS headquarters in Washington

January 2014

Phase 2

Restricted areas for all federal facilities & nuclear power plants

April 2014

Phase 3

Semi-restricted areas (i.e., areas available to the general public but subject to ID-based access control) for most federal facilities

January 19, 2015

  REVIEW AND EVALUATION  

Phase 4

Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft

A driver license or identification card from a noncompliant jurisdiction may only be used in conjunction with a second form of ID for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft

No sooner than 2016

 

  1. How is a REAL ID credential different from DC DMV’s current credential?

In addition to a REAL ID requiring DC DMV to revalidate your proof of identity, proof of social security number and proof of residence, it will also have a star in the upper right hand corner of the credential.  Other than these items, it will look the same as DC DMV’s current credential.

 

  1. When will the District of Columbia begin issuing REAL ID credentials? 

May 1, 2014.  However, this date only impacts those residents obtaining a DC license for the first time, renewing their licenses or who need to replace their license due to it being lost, stolen or an address change.  Your existing DC DMV credential will remain valid until its expiration date and will be accepted for federal purposes (such as entering federal buildings and boarding airplanes).

 

  1. Why is DC DMV making this change?

We are making this change to comply with federal requirements and to ensure our residents will have access to those limited federal facilities which will require a US passport or REAL ID credential to enter (beginning January 19, 2015)  and the ability to board airplanes (no sooner than 2016; however, exact date has not been determined).

  1. Does REAL ID affect both driver licenses and identification cards?

Yes, it affects ALL driver licenses, permits, and identification cards issued by DC DMV.

 

  1. Will I have to do anything different to apply for, renew or replace (i.e., obtain a duplicate) my current driver license, permit, or identification card in order to obtain a REAL ID credential?

Yes.  The documents for verifying your proof of identity, proof of social security number and proof of address have changed.  In addition, prior to being issued a REAL ID credential, DC DMV will need to revalidate these documents.  However, your existing DC DMV credential will remain valid until its expiration date and will be accepted for federal purposes (such as entering federal buildings and boarding airplanes).

 

  1. Why can’t I renew or replace (i.e., obtain a duplicate) my driver license or identification card or change my address using DC DMV’s online or by mail services?

In order to issue you a REAL ID credential, we must revalidate your identity, social security number and address.  Therefore, you will not be able to use the online or by mail services until you already possess a REAL ID credential as indicated by the star in the upper right hand corner.

 

  1. Are other states issuing REAL ID credentials?

As of April 1, 2014, 21 jurisdictions are REAL ID compliant.  The remaining US jurisdictions have received renewable extensions through October 10, 2014. 

 

  1. Is my current license or identification card still valid?

Yes. Your current driver license or identification card is valid until its expiration date and will be accepted for federal purposes (such as entering federal buildings and boarding airplanes).   When you renew your existing credential (which may not expire until April 2022, you will then need to bring in your documents to revalidate your identity, SSN and residency).  Click here to view additional information related to the revalidation process required to obtain a REAL ID credential when you renew or obtain a duplicate of your DC credential.

 

  1. What happens if I don’t revalidate my documents and receive a REAL ID credential? 

The Department of Homeland Security is using a phased approach in terms of whether a REAL ID credential is necessary for entering some federal facilities (beginning January 19, 2015) and boarding airplanes (no sooner than 2016; however an exact date has not been determined).  However, you will still be able to use your existing DC credential, a US passport or other documents, as determined by the individual agencies.  Therefore, there is no need for you to visit DC DMV to obtain the REAL ID credential until you need to renew or obtain a duplicate of your credential.  When this time period occurs, you will need to bring in your documents for revalidation.  

 

  1. How much more does the REAL ID credential cost?

The fees for REAL ID credentials are the same as our current credentials.  If you need to renew your credential or obtain a duplicate credential (due to lost, stolen or address change), then you will be required to pay the normal fees during your in-person visit in which you will need to provide additional documentation to obtain the REAL ID credential.

 

  1. Will TSA accept identity documents other than driver licenses/identification cards?

Yes. TSA currently accepts other forms of identity documents such as a passport and will continue to do so. 

 

For more information on acceptable forms of identification for boarding aircraft, please see TSA’s website (http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/acceptable-ids)

NOTE:  If you have a REAL ID related question which is not covered by these FAQs or on other areas of our website, please email us at dmv.dc.gov.

 

  REAL ID does NOT apply to the following:

  • Entering federal facilitates that do not require a person to present identification (Note:  Many federal facilities in the District have recently eliminated the requirement to show any identification when entering the building.)
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Applying for or receiving federal benefits
  • Being licensed by a jurisdiction to drive
  • Accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

 

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