What is Real ID?

Real ID, in general terms, refers to the federal legislation intended to deter terrorism by implementing several new homeland security regulations. The rules establish the minimum standards, procedures, and requirements that must be met if a state-issued driver's license or identification card is to be accepted by the Federal government for official purposes. Official purposes, as defined by the rules, include:

  • Entering a nuclear power facility
  • Entering a Federal building and
  • Boarding a federally regulated airplane

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established these minimum standards in with the REAL ID Act of 2005. These regulations set standards for all states to meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act, including, but not limited to:

  • Security features that must be incorporated into each state driver's license or identification card
  • Verification of information provided by applicants to establish their identity and lawful status in the United States
  • Physical security standards for locations where licenses and identification cards are issued

Georgia's Response to Real ID

  • Georgia is well-positioned to respond to the requirements of the Real ID Act, which was referred to as Secure ID in Georgia. Georgia law has long required all applicants to present original documentation to prove identity, Georgia residency, and citizenship or lawful status in the United States when applying for a Georgia driver's license or identification card. Further, undocumented aliens are not eligible for any type of driver's license or identification card under Georgia law.
  • 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 and IDs.

How Can I Prepare?

  • If your document is not a Real ID License/ID, you will be required to visit a Customer Service Center and bring proof of all identification documents.  To obtain your Real ID License/ID bring original or certified documents that prove the following or view the complete Real ID Requirements List:
    • Identity Document (one document)  - An original or certified document to prove WHO YOU ARE such as a certified Birth Certificate, US Passport, Certificate of Naturalization, I-551, etc. 
    • Your full Social Security Number must be provided on the required online License/ID/Permit Form.
    • Two Documents showing Georgia residency - where you live (e.g. utility bill, phone bill). These documents must show a street address dated within the past six (6) months.
    • Non-Citizens - see Secure ID/Real ID Document list for other required documents.

Real ID Deadline Note

NOTE: All State-Issued Driver's Licenses and Identification Cards must be Real ID-compliant by May 3, 2023. Please plan accordingly if you do not hold a Real ID issued document, especially if you plan to travel.

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Additional Information

American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)
Department of Homeland Security Privacy Impact Assessment REAL ID