Real ID FAQs
What is Real ID? and How do I get a Real ID License?
1. What is the Real ID program?
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:
- Accessing Federal facilities
- Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
- Entering nuclear power plants
DDS began issuing these licenses in 2010 under our SAFFE DL (Secure Automated Fast Friendly Easier Driver’s License) Program. SAFFE DL contained over 20 overt, covert, and forensic security features built into the DL/ID.
2. Why is the DDS enacting the Real ID program?
To further improve the security and integrity of Georgia's DL and ID cards and to be fully compliant with the Federal Real ID Act of 2005.
3. What if I am not eligible for a Social Security Number?
You must go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and obtain a Letter of Denial stating that you are not eligible for an SSN. Bring the letter along with your other documents during your next visit to DDS.
4. What if I reside in an assisted care facility and do not have two documents that show where I am residing?
DDS will accept a letter from the facility for customers who live in a medical or assisted care facility. The letter must include:
- facility's official letterhead
- your personal name
- date of birth
- the address of the facility
- and the name and number of an official representative are also required.
5. Does the new DL or ID look different?
The only visible difference from the current DL or ID is that a Gold or Black Star will be printed on the top right corner of your Real ID DL or ID.
6. Can I obtain a new Real ID DL or ID even though it is not time for my renewal?
Yes. If you bring the mandatory documents prior to your renewal, you will be issued a Real ID DL or ID.
7. Will there be a change in cost, if I am issued a Real ID DL or ID?
No. There will be no changes in the current fees. View Fees and Terms for current License/ID Fees.
8. What if I have lost my original or certified copy of an identity document?
You will need to contact the appropriate agency to get a certified copy of an accepted identity document.
9. What online services can I perform through the DDS Internet if my license is not Real ID??
Until you have been issued a Real ID DL or ID, you will be unable to renew your DL/ID online. But, all other online services will continue to be available. This includes ordering a MVR, checking your points, replacing lost license, or changing of address.
10. If I am homeless, what do I use as a residential address?
DDS will accept a letter from a homeless shelter or care provider where you are residing. The letter must be on the facility's official letterhead. The letter must include:
- your name
- date of birth
- the address of the facility
- and the name and phone number of an official representative of the facility.
11. Who will be required to be issued a Real ID DL or ID card?
All new customers will be issued a Real ID DL or ID card. All existing customers that need to renew or reinstate a DL/ID will be issued a Real ID DL or ID card. Customers requesting a replacement or updating their existing DL or ID card are strongly encouraged to be issued a Real ID DL or ID.
12. What are the benefits of a Real ID DL/ID?
The benefits of a Real ID DL or ID:
- Ensures the integrity of your DL/ID;
- Added security against personal identity theft;
- Ensures that the DDS has your most current information; and
- Meets upcoming federal requirements for boarding a commercial flight and entry into federal buildings.
13. What if I am a dependent and do not have two documents that show I am residing with a parent, guardian or relative?
DDS accepts a number of common documents to prove your residential address including:
- A dependent's State of Georgia or Federal income tax return for current or preceding calendar year listing you as a dependent; and
- School records or transcripts showing your residential address.
14. What if I do not have all of the documents when I visit a Customer Service Center?
Suppose you currently hold an unexpired Georgia DL or ID. Then, you will receive a temporary DL/ID that has a limited term (up to 120 days). This will give you more time to gather the required documents.
15. Can I continue using my existing Georgia DL or ID prior to being issued a Real ID Driving License?
Yes, as long as the expiration date appearing on your DL or ID has not passed.
16. What will be different for me?
- You must visit a Customer Service Center in person on your first renewal, reinstatement, or the first issuance to get a Real ID License/ID.
- You must provide documentation showing your identity, residential address, full social security number, and U.S. citizenship or proof of lawful status in the United States. Please refer to Real ID Requirements for more information.
17. What if I have legally changed my name?
For Existing Customers - Suppose a customer has a unexpired Georgia DL or ID. Then, the customer must present the latest certified document supporting the most recent name change. For example, a woman who has divorced and wishes to change her name on her DL or ID. She will present an original birth certificate and a divorce decree showing a full legal name.
For Customers New To Georgia - Acceptable documents can include the following:
- An original or certified copy of a marriage certificate or marriage
- License application (for all marriages)
- Divorce decree (if a name change was specified on the decree)
- Court-ordered name change, or adoption decree.
Please Note: On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all States recognize same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is recognized in the State of Georgia.