Can You Use a Real ID to Get a Passport?
Traveling within the US requires proper identification. The government mandates that anyone looking to gain entry to certain federal facilities (like military bases and nuclear power plants ) or board domestic flights needs either a Real ID or an Enhanced ID from DMV; both options can be obtained at your convenience; just remember to upgrade standard driver’s licenses or ID cards in order to remain valid.
Reason being, this requirement was passed in 2005 as part of the Real ID Act and established minimum security standards that state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards must meet in order to be approved for certain federal purposes, like boarding domestic commercial flights or entering certain federal buildings. Starting May 7, 2025 this rule will come into force.
Learn more about Real ID by visiting the DMV website, where they also offer an online tool to assist with assessing whether or not a Real ID will be necessary or your current license meets compliance.
Before upgrading your license, keep in mind that any name changes must also be updated on both your Social Security card and documents used to verify identity. This ensures a consistent name across all official documents that meet Real ID regulations.