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Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Michigan residents will need to present a REAL ID-compliant document to fly within the United States and enter certain federal facilities under federal law.
Michigan Secretary of State offices now offer REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards, which are marked with a gold circle with a star inside. In addition, Michigan offers Enhanced Driver’s Licenses and ID Cards, which also are REAL ID-compliant and are marked with a U.S. flag. Other compliant documents include valid U.S. passports and trusted traveler cards issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Find a full list from the federal Transportation Security Administration.
To apply for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card, you’ll need to bring your valid U.S. passport or certified birth certificate with a raised seal or stamp to any Secretary of State office. Other documents verifying legal presence are accepted. If your name is different than what’s on your birth certificate, you’ll also need to bring in a name-change document, such as a marriage license or court order. There is no extra cost to apply when renewing your driver’s license or ID, but if you apply outside of your normal renewal time, a duplicate card fee will be charged.
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What is REAL ID?
Under the federal REAL ID Act, Michigan residents boarding a domestic flight or entering certain federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants must show a REAL ID-compliant document beginning Oct. 1, 2020. The federal standards were drafted in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. The REAL ID law sets document and security protocols for the production of driver’s licenses and ID cards, including the use of features to prevent illegal copying or altering. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is charged with enforcement of REAL ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has more information about the REAL ID Act, including frequently asked questions.
Do I Need a REAL ID-compliant Driver’s License or State ID?
If the convenience of carrying a license or ID that meets all requirements for boarding a plane for domestic travel appeals to you, then a REAL ID-compliant license or ID is the right choice for you.
How do I Obtain a REAL ID-complaint Driver’s License or State ID Card?
If you have an enhanced driver’s license or enhanced state ID card, you already have a REAL ID-compliant card. If you don’t have an enhanced card, please continue reading.
Michigan Residents: Take your Michigan license or ID card and proof of your Social Security number and citizenship or legal presence to a Secretary of State office. For a list of acceptable documents, see “Required Documents” below. You may apply for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card at any time. Or you can wait until it’s time to renew. Your renewal notice will state whether or not your license or ID is REAL ID compliant if there is any question about it.
First Michigan License or ID: If you are applying for your first (original) Michigan driver’s license or state ID card, visit a Secretary of State office and present documents verifying your Social Security number, identity, U.S. citizenship or legal presence, and Michigan residency.
All Applicants: Your photograph will be taken at the branch office and the appropriate driver’s license or ID card fees will be due. There is no additional fee for obtaining a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card.
Required Documents: Please make sure you have the correct documents before visiting a Secretary of State office. If you are applying for your first Michigan driver’s license or ID card, please review what documents are accepted to verify your Social Security number, citizenship or legal presence, identity and residency.
Name Changes: If your name is different than what is shown on your birth certificate, you will need to provide evidence of a legal name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court action.
Temporary Legal Presence: If you have temporary legal presence, the legal presence documents you need to present will differ from those required by U.S. citizens. Please make sure you have the required documents before visiting a Secretary of State office.
Help: If you have any questions about obtaining a driver’s license or state ID, please call the Department of State Information Center at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424). A list of REAL ID FAQs is also available to help you find the information you need.
What Happens if I Don’t Get a REAL ID-compliant License or ID Card? Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, you will need to show a REAL ID-compliant document to board a plane for domestic travel or to enter certain federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants. If your driver’s license or state ID card is not REAL ID compliant, you may show another form of acceptable documentation, such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card. The Transportation Security Administration has published a list of accepted documents.
Standard Michigan Licenses or ID Cards After Oct. 1, 2020, your standard Michigan driver’s license remains valid for driving, and a standard license and state ID continue to be legal identification for cashing checks, renting vehicles, purchasing alcohol and tobacco, or entering casinos. A standard license or ID card will have “Not for Federal Identification” printed on it.