Iowa DOT News

REAL ID requirement is six months away, but now is the time to act


ANKENY, Iowa – Nov. 3, 2022 – Time flies by – are you prepared to fly? Six months from today may seem like a long time, but time has a habit of going by faster than we expect. In six months, on May 3, 2023, U.S. travelers must have a REAL ID or another TSA approved ID, such as a passport or military ID, to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities. 

If you have a star on the upper-righthand corner of your Iowa driver’s license or ID card, that’s the REAL ID symbol that you’ll need to board a plane or enter a federal building beginning May 3, 2023.

Darcy Doty, Iowa Motor Vehicle Division Customer Services Bureau director states, “While not everyone will need to update their card, we’re encouraging those who may need a REAL ID to visit us prior to May 3, 2023, to ensure they’re prepared for any upcoming travel plans.” Currently, more than 1.6 million Iowans have a REAL ID, which is 63 percent of all our customers.

The REAL ID gold star designation is not available through online renewal, you must visit any Iowa driver’s license or ID issuance location in person to update your card. If your license or ID is up for renewal you can receive a REAL ID designation for no additional cost. If you wish to update to a REAL ID outside of your renewal period, it will cost $10, or the standard cost of a replacement card.

If you want to update to a REAL ID, federal law requires you to verify your identity by providing the same documentation you provided when you got your first license or ID. Before you come in for your appointment, make sure you bring hard-copy documents that provide the following information:

  • Proof of your identity (Example: passport or birth certificate)
  • Proof of Social Security number (Example: Social Security card, W2, 1099 form)
  • Two documents that prove Iowa residency (Example: utility bill or bank statement)

If your current name is different from the name listed on your proof of identity, you’ll also need a document showing proof of name change, for example, a marriage certificate. Please bring the original, official document as we can’t accept copies. Our staff will scan your documents and return them to you.

You can use our helpful online tool to build a list of documents you need to bring with you.

Not everyone is required to get a REAL ID. If you don’t plan to use your state-issued card to fly or enter a federal building you don’t need to worry about getting one. You may also use another acceptable form of ID in place of a REAL ID. In addition, having a REAL ID does not change your ability to use your Iowa driver’s license or ID for uses such as driving, renting a vehicle, writing a check, purchasing alcohol or tobacco, or entering a casino.

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Contact: Kayla Burkett at 515-291-3462 or kayla.burkett@iowadot.us.

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