Real ID vs Passport

Just saw a headline this morning that RealID is now pushed back to 2023. I had hoped to get it last year when my license was up for renewal, but it became impossible with Covid.

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I was able to renew my license (and get Real ID) last summer at AAA, during COVID of course, with no trouble at all. Made an appointment, quick and easy. MA RMV can be a nightmare. Yeah, AAA!!

If you already have a passport, that’s a document you can use to get Real ID.

I’m an example of someone who cannot get one. I’ll have to fly back to PA in the fall to renew my license and even when there I won’t be able to get a real ID version- I can’t prove a physical address in the state since I live in MN. It’s a glaring loophole imo since it affects all military members with out of state addresses and their dependents, and we all have been vetted by the DoD for their ID issuing… but yeah.


My license got renewed this past year by mail due to Covid. They used the same picture and everything - just changed the date and charged the fee. I seem to recall the extra paperwork one needs to be somewhat of a hassle - can’t remember exactly what TBH - but “just” having a passport to prove who I was wasn’t enough anyway.

I don’t go into federal buildings or courthouses regularly at all and when we travel anywhere we always have our passports with us because, to us, they’re so easy to use. Many times our travels can include domestic and international (like Canada) where we’d need them anyway.

So if I don’t need a Real ID I don’t think I’ll plan on getting one. It costs extra and requires “something” else in paperwork. (Marriage certificate? I honestly don’t remember.)

Thanks for the info!

And yes, a good reminder for all traveling that passports expire early. We try to time renewing ours between trips sometime that last year. Timing is important because it can take a few weeks to get it back. They’re good for 9+ years, not really 10. (5 years for kids.)

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I’ll probably be using my passport for a while because in our state you need to go in person to do the real ID license and it’s a freaking train wreck. I think I waited over 3 hours to get my license when we first moved. The worst part is that my old state already had real ID licenses so I had it before but now need to do it again. Love the idea of getting a passport card when I renew my passport next year. That will definitely be easier!


CT is still requiring appointments at the DMV. DD had to change license and car registration from OOS. She made an appointment and was out of there in less than an hour…all done. Her license was a real ID from another state and she got a real ID here.

This is an easy interactive checklist for Ohio on what documents will qualify. You need green checkmarks by all the categories on the left.

I think I brought my passport, SS card, and a credit card bill. Not hard!

I was able to get my Real ID in March of 2020 right before everything shutdown. I went into the DMV at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon with all of my documentation (I had to renew my driver’s license anyway) and was out of there soon after 5:00 pm. The next week everything closed here in California.

Mine is not a state known for government efficiency but I was able to get my Real ID in person with minimum hassle last summer during the pandemic. The list of documents needed was online. When you arrived there was a number to call to get in the queue and they called you back when it was your turn to enter. The whole procedure took about 15 minutes.

The only real ID issues I’ve heard about in PA are kids, because the types of documents required to prove residency in PA aren’t common for kids to have, and you need 2.

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I read that you may need a Real ID or passport to enter some government buildings.

Last time I renewed passport, I got a passport card in addition, because of the possibility that “Real ID” would eventually be needed (since it was an unfunded mandate on states, some of which were additionally unwilling due to “anti-national-ID-card” politics at the time, the due date kept getting extended). Passport cards are easier to carry around and less easily damaged than the usual passport books.

REAL ID FAQs | Homeland Security may have some answers to common questions.

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Are “they” going to require a real ID for jury duty if you need one to enter government buildings? That would be a good reason not to get one :rofl:

I don’t understand the need for a real ID. Charging an extra fee and making people come in person doesn’t seem very appealing to me.


I can use my Global Entry card which I keep in my purse. I will probably get a Real ID when my DL expires in. 2024.

Formulated in the wake of September 11 and passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act was passed to “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 it prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes.

It was aimed at eliminating airline terrorism by increasing requirements to obtain documents granting access to domestic planes.

State agencies that issue licenses and identification cards, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, require more paperwork regarding proof of residency and Social Security number under the new act than necessary to obtain standard licenses.

The cards themselves will also be built using new technology, making them much more difficult to forge.

It has taken the federal government nearly 15 years to implement the act fully — a gradual process that has been met by some confusion as each state has a different status. However, all states will need to comply by May 3, 2023.

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The original deadline was in 2008; the deadline was extended several times due to state slowness (and sometimes political opposition) to making compliant state identifications and driver’s licenses.

We have passports but chose to also get the Real ID’s. Didn’t want to be bothered to take our passports when traveling in this country and the passport is one more thing to remember to pack and make sure we don’t lose. We also have Global ID, but don’t normally carry that in my purse (as I do my driver’s license). Again, it’s one more thing…

For fed jury duty? Yes, to enter the federal courthouse through the front door. Maybe they’ll allow the juror to just use other ID and bring the jury summons because you have to be a citizen to be on jury duty, but I bet it will be a hassle. Federal jury duty is a lot more rare than in your local city or judicial district.

But you’ll need it to enter all federal office buildings, military bases, and to go on tours of the White House, Capitol or mints. They must have a passport requirement for foreign visitors too. I’d been to the mint tour many times in the 1970s and 1980s, but since 9/11 you have to make a reservation and provide a SSN for everyone, and then show ID.

I’m really surprised at how many of you don’t have Real ID licenses. I’ve had one since at least 2010 (California), another in 2012 (Florida) and my current one in Colorado (2019). I think my prior to 2010 license from Colorado had a star. Not a big deal at all; get a license, get a star! My kids have always had a star (first permits in Florida in 2012) and their new licenses (Colorado and Wyoming) were issued with them.

PA wouldn’t issue them for a number of years. And the feds keep pushing back the compliance dates so there wasn’t any incentive to incur the expense to switch over.

I have a passport card which I’m happy to use. Same size as a credit card or DL license so easy to have in my wallet for those rare occasions that I specifically need a real ID.

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Same, it wasn’t an option to get a Real ID in Illinois until relatively recently (not a choice at my last license renewal). Beginning to wonder if it will really happen by 2023!

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