Real ID FAQs
1. What is the Real ID program?
DDS began issuing its most recent generation of DL and ID cards 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. Georgia’s new Secure ID program builds on the advances of SAFFE DL by further enhancing the integrity and security of our DLs and ID cards.
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, which adopted the recommendations of the 911 Commission. The Real ID Act prohibits the federal government from accepting non-compliant driver licenses or IDs to board a commercial flight or enter a federal building.
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 a SSN, and bring the letter 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 reside in a medical or assisted care facility. The letter must be on the facility's official letterhead and include your name, date of birth, the address of the facility, and the name and phone number of an official representative of the facility.
5. Does the new DL/ID look different?
The only visible difference from the current DL/ID is that a Gold or Black Star will be printed on the top right corner of the 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. After July 1, 2012, 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. Click here to see the current DL and 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 site beginning July 1, 2012?
Until you have been issued a Real ID DL or ID, you will be unable to renew your DL/ID online. However, all other online services such as ordering an MVR, checking your points, replacement of a lost license and change of address will continue to be available.
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 and 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 are that it:
- 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 unexpired Georgia driver's license, permit or identification card issued to your parent, guardian, spouse, or child;
- 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?
If you currently hold an unexpired Georgia DL or ID, you will receive a temporary DL/ID that has a limited term (up to 120 days) which gives you additional time to gather the required documents and return to a Customer Service Center with your 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 first issuance beginning July 1, 2012;
- You must provide an original or certified copy of your Birth Certificate or other proof of identity, and proof U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the United States;
- You must provide your Social Security Card or other proof of full SSN. Previously, DDS was allowed to simply ask you for your SSN; and
- You must provide two different proofs of your residential address. Previously, DDS only required one proof of your residential address for your 1st DL or ID card.
- Additional documentation to verify lawful status in the United States may be required if you are a non-citizen.
- Additional documentation may be required if you have had a legal name change.
17. What if I have legally changed my name?
For Existing Customers - Customers who have an unexpired Georgia DL or ID 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 will present an original birth certificate plus a divorce decree showing a full legal name.
For Customers New To Georgia - If the name has changed from an original birth record, passport, or other approved identity document, customers must present the complete trail of certified documents supporting all name changes. Acceptable documents include 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.