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REAL ID Explained

The Federal REAL ID Act of 2005 set new standards for the issuance of driver licenses and ID cards. REAL ID was created in response to the 9/11 Commission recommendation that the U.S. improve its system for issuing identification documents.

The Department of Homeland Security developed REAL ID standards to improve the integrity and security of state-issued driver licenses and ID cards. These standards help fight terrorism and reduce fraud.

REAL ID licenses and ID cards have a star in the upper right corner.

Don’t Get Caught Without Your REAL ID. Starting October 1, 2021, every U.S. resident must present a REAL ID compliant driver license or state ID card to board commercial flights or enter federal buildings.

If your driver license or state ID card is not REAL ID compliant, don’t wait! Make your appointment soon and get your REAL ID ahead of the deadline.

Do I Need to Come In?

Pay Online
Did you know you can renew, replace or update your driver license online if:

  • You have not previously used the one-time online convenience renewal
  • Your driver license or ID card is REAL ID compliant
  • You do not have a stop, hold or other violation on your driver license

Pay in Person
You must visit our service center if:

  • Your driver license or ID card is not REAL ID compliant
  • You have a stop, hold or violation on your driver license
  • You are getting your first Florida driver license
  • You already used your one-time online renewal
  • You changed your name
  • You let your driver license expire
  • You want to update your photo
  • You hold a Commercial Driver License (CDL)
  • You want to add or remove a designation
  • Your driver license has the word “Temporary” on it

Prepare for Your Visit
If you must come in, follow these tips to make your visit quick and efficient!

  • Make an appointment
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. You can renew your license 18 months before it expires.
  • Perform a free driver license check-up to see if you have any stops, holds or violations. Clearances can be processed at our office if you bring the required documentation.

Required Documents for REAL ID

Required documentation differs based upon your applicable status.

Regarding name changes, allow a minimum of 48 hours for your name change to take effect before coming to our office. Please bring your updated Social Security card or receipt from the Social Security Administration with you.

REALID Checklist – U.S. Citizen
Seleccione aquí para Español

U.S. citizens renewing, replacing or applying for a new driver license or ID card in person must submit the following documents before a REAL ID compliant driver license or ID card can be issued.

Please note: The name assigned to the Social Security Number must match the name that will appear on the driver license or ID card.

1. Primary Identification – An original of one of the following documents with complete name

  • U.S. birth certificate, including some U.S. territories and District of Columbia (birth certificates from Puerto Rico must have an issue date after July 1, 2010)
  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization, form N-560 or form N-570
  • Certificate of Citizenship, form N-560 or form N-561

Notes:

  • Only a birth certificate issued by a county health department or the CDC Bureau of Vital Statistics will be accepted. Hospital birth certificates are not considered a certified document and will not be accepted.
  • When applicable, marriage certificates, court orders or divorce decrees must be provided to link the name on the primary identification to the name on the driver license or ID card.

2. Proof of Social Security – An original of one of the following documents with complete name and complete Social Security Number

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 form (not handwritten)
  • Pay check/stub
  • SSA-1099
  • 1099 form (not handwritten)

3. Proof of Residential Address – Any two of the following documents, copies are accepted

Current driver license or ID card may not be used as proof of residential address.

  • Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement
  • Florida voter registration card
  • Florida vehicle registration or title
  • Utility bill
  • A utility hook up or work order – not more than 60 days old
  • Automobile payment booklet
  • Selective service card
  • Medial or health card with address listed
  • Current homeowner insurance policy or bill
  • Current automobile insurance policy or bill
  • Educational institution transcript for the current school year
  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
  • W2 form or 1099 form
  • Mail from financial institutions including checking, savings or investment account statements
  • Mail from federal, state, county or city government agencies
  • A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider or half-way house verifying they receive your mail. The letter must be accompanied by a completed and notarized Certification of Address Form
  • If you reside with a relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the relative’s name)
    • A document demonstrating family relationship, examples include adoption records, birth certificate, and marriage license
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized
  • If you reside with a non-relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the non-relative’s name)
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized

REALID Checklist – Immigrant
Seleccione aquí para Español

Immigrants renewing, replacing or applying for a new driver license or ID card in person must submit the following documents before a REAL ID compliant driver license or ID card can be issued.

Please note: The name assigned to the Social Security Number must match the name that will appear on the driver license or ID card.

1. Primary Identification – An original of one of the following documents with complete name

  • Valid alien registration receipt card (green card, form I-551)
  • I-551 stamp in passport or on I-94
  • Immigration judge’s order, containing your A-number (admissions number) granting asylum
  • I-797, containing your A-number, stating you have been granted asylum
  • I-797, or another form from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), with your A-number, stating your application for refugee status is approved

2. Proof of Social Security – An original of one of the following documents with complete name and complete Social Security Number

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 form (not handwritten)
  • Pay check/stub
  • SSA-1099
  • 1099 form (not handwritten)

3. Proof of Residential Address – Any two of the following documents, copies are accepted

Current driver license or ID card may not be used as proof of residential address.

  • Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement
  • Florida voter registration card
  • Florida vehicle registration or title
  • Utility bill
  • A utility hook up or work order – not more than 60 days old
  • Automobile payment booklet
  • Selective service card
  • Medial or health card with address listed
  • Current homeowner insurance policy or bill
  • Current automobile insurance policy or bill
  • Educational institution transcript for the current school year
  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
  • W2 form or 1099 form
  • Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • Mail from financial institutions including checking, savings or investment account statements
  • Mail from federal, state, county or city government agencies
  • A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider or half-way house verifying they receive your mail. The letter must be accompanied by a completed and notarized Certification of Address Form
  • If you reside with a relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the relative’s name)
    • A document demonstrating family relationship, examples include adoption records, birth certificate, and marriage license
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized
  • If you reside with a non-relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the non-relative’s name)
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized

REALID Checklist – Non-Immigrant
Seleccione aquí para Español

Non-immigrants renewing, replacing or applying for a new driver license or ID card in person must submit the following documents before a REAL ID compliant driver license or ID card can be issued.

Please note: The name assigned to the Social Security Number must match the name that will appear on the driver license or ID card.

1. Primary Identification – An original of one of the following documents with complete name

  • Valid employment authorization card issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) form I-688B or I-766
  • Non-expired proof of non-immigrant classification provided by CHS form I-94 with required supporting attachment(s). If you are unsure of the required documentation, bring all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documentation with you.
    • I-94s must be accompanied by a valid passport with a date of entry stamp. Certain classifications require additional documentation. Some examples are:
      • F-1 and M-1 classification must be accompanied by an I-20
      • J-1 or J-2 designation must be accompanied by a DS2019
      • Refugee, asylee and parolee classifications must be accompanied by additional documentation
  • I-571 travel document/refugee travel permit
  • I-512 parole letter accepted
  • Immigration judge’s order granting asylum or cancellation of removal

Notes:

  • Documents must be valid for more than 30 days from the date of issuance.
  • Non-U.S. citizens applying for an original driver license will be issued a 60-day temporary paper permit without a photo and a receipt. Non-U.S. citizens applying for an ID card will be issued a receipt. Upon identity and legal status verification, a driver license or ID card will be issued within 60 days and mailed to the address on the driver record. The driver license or ID card will be issued for the period of time specified on the USCIS document, up to a maximum of four years.
  • If lawful status or identification is not verified, a denial of issuance letter will be mailed to you.

2. Proof of Social Security – An original of one of the following documents with complete name and complete Social Security Number

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 form (not handwritten)
  • Pay check/stub
  • SSA-1099
  • 1099 form (not handwritten)

3. Proof of Residential Address – Any two of the following documents, copies are accepted

Current driver license or ID card may not be used as proof of residential address.

  • Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement
  • Florida voter registration card
  • Florida vehicle registration or title
  • Utility bill
  • A utility hook up or work order – not more than 60 days old
  • Automobile payment booklet
  • Selective service card
  • Medial or health card with address listed
  • Current homeowner insurance policy or bill
  • Current automobile insurance policy or bill
  • Educational institution transcript for the current school year
  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
  • W2 form or 1099 form
  • Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • Mail from financial institutions including checking, savings or investment account statements
  • Mail from federal, state, county or city government agencies
  • A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider or half-way house verifying they receive your mail. The letter must be accompanied by a completed and notarized Certification of Address Form
  • If you reside with a relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the relative’s name)
    • A document demonstrating family relationship, examples include adoption records, birth certificate, and marriage license
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized
  • If you reside with a non-relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the non-relative’s name)
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized

REALID Checklist – Canadian
Seleccione aquí para Español

Canadians renewing, replacing or applying for a new driver license or ID card in person must submit the following documents before a REAL ID compliant driver license or ID card can be issued.

Please note: The name assigned to the Social Security Number must match the name that will appear on the driver license or ID card.

1. Primary Identification – An original of one of the following documents with complete name

  • Valid Canadian passport
  • Original or certified Canadian birth certificate
  • Canadian naturalization certificate
  • Canadian certificate of citizenship

2. Proof of Social Security – An original of one of the following documents with complete name and complete Social Security Number

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 form (not handwritten)
  • Pay check/stub
  • SSA-1099
  • 1099 form (not handwritten)

3. Proof of Residential Address – Any two of the following documents, copies are accepted

Current driver license or ID card may not be used as proof of residential address.

  • Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement
  • Florida voter registration card
  • Florida vehicle registration or title
  • Utility bill
  • A utility hook up or work order – not more than 60 days old
  • Automobile payment booklet
  • Selective service card
  • Medial or health card with address listed
  • Current homeowner insurance policy or bill
  • Current automobile insurance policy or bill
  • Educational institution transcript for the current school year
  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
  • W2 form or 1099 form
  • Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
  • Mail from financial institutions including checking, savings or investment account statements
  • Mail from federal, state, county or city government agencies
  • A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider or half-way house verifying they receive your mail. The letter must be accompanied by a completed and notarized Certification of Address Form
  • If you reside with a relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the relative’s name)
    • A document demonstrating family relationship, examples include adoption records, birth certificate, and marriage license
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized
  • If you reside with a non-relative:
    • Provide two acceptable proofs of their residential address (in the non-relative’s name)
    • A completed Certification of Address Form, relative must sign in person or the form must be notarized