US Citizens: Do you have your Real ID?

Just wondering how many of you already have your Real ID and how to go about getting it if you no longer have a US residence.

I’ve been wondering this. I lost my DL. Don’t know how to get one without an address in the US.

I think your US passport will work.
I also have a Global Entry card, which also functions as a real ID. However, getting one involves making an appointment to be interviewed and finger-printed by CBP at a Global Entry Enrollment center. Most US international airports have a CBP GE Enrollment office. I did mine in Dallas in 2017.

I think most Americans will rely on their driver’s license for their real ID.

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All US citizens are required to have one by October 1, 2021 right?

Yes, if they want to fly domestically.

However, my understanding is that if you do not have one, you can still fly if you present an acceptable form of alternate identity. Your passport will work, and so will a GE card.

At some point after Oct. 1, a regular driver’s license won’t be sufficient to get a passenger through security and onto a plane. The Real ID technically is not mandatory because you can instead use other approved documents, including a passport, passport card, U.S. military ID, Enhanced ID (offered in some states) or an ID from the federal government’s Trusted Traveler Program, such as a Global Entry card.

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Basically it’s just your normal State driver’s license or State ID card. What makes it a “Real ID” is if the issuing State accepted the Real ID Federal Program, which renders all IDs from that State a Real ID.

You need a Real ID validated State Driver’s License or State ID to fly domestic flights within the USA. If your State didn’t hop on the Federal Real ID train, then you have to show 2 forms of ID. Your US passport bypasses the whole Real ID issue altogether. Passport trumps a Real ID.



No and DMV is shut so


As others have mentioned you DO NOT need a Real ID if you have a valid US Passport. It’s just that you will need to bring your valid US Passport on US (domestic) flights once the rule goes into effect.

So if you live overseas and/or don’t have a US address, then you don’t need the Real ID since in order to get back to the US for a domestic flight you would have a US Passport.

(I happened to be back at my parent’s house when my driver’s license was about to expire and was able to renew and get the REAL ID. But every state has their own document checklist and they are strict about the documents needed, so do your homework if you are in the USA and applying for Real ID. For me, I didn’t have a W-2 with SS # so i had to search for my real SS Card. And you need two forms of proof of residence/address and I do still have several accounts with a US address)

May I ask which state issued your real ID?

Do you pay any utility bills at these US addresses? I ask because some states insist you provide a utility bill as proof of residence.

California…but every state is different so certainly some states may require a utility bill. I only needed 2 financial institution documents. Every state should have their own ‘checklist’.

Be sure to read it carefully before going to the DMV. I thought I could get away with just bringing in my tax return that showed my SS # but they required it to be on a W-2 (or other documents i don’t have) so I had to come back another day with my actual SS card.

I thought that I did but remember deciding against it when I last upped my driver’s license for some reason. I believe that it was simply because I don’t envision flying in the US without my passport but thought that there was some admin-related reason as well.

Yeah, California may have the least restrictive DL criteria in the US.

That is certainly a feature for a Virginian who allowed his DL to lapse, and will have to get one if I move back to the US. I prefer Texas, and their requirements are more stringent. Ah well, it is what it is.

Virginia does seems very strict. But reading up on Texas they do not require utility bill only for proof of residency. They have a huge list of options including financial institutions just like California. Texas might have other DL requirements that might be a pain but not proof of residency.

But for me I think REAL ID really doesn’t matter if you are not living in the US for a long period of time. The REAL ID is only for people who do not have a US passport or do not want to carry around a US passport to board planes or enter a Federal building. If you have a US passport you just need to bring it if you have to go into a Federal building.

If you are living or moving to the US, and you have to get a driver’s license… the paperwork part of it is not that bad (going to the DMV and testing and other requirements is the worst of it)…since those people will have utilities or rent agreement or mortgage payments if you are living there.

I actually did not ‘check the box’ that says i wanted REAL ID when i first went to renew. I just never felt i would really need it. But the woman at the DMV convinced me. :laughing:

No, Texas doesn’t require a utility bill and the list of options qualifying for proof of residency is, indeed, long. The problem I have is that I haven’t lived there in almost 40 years but I do have a mailing address in Houston. Financial and tax documents are mailed to this address, which would seem to work.

However, TxDPS excludes personal mailboxes (or mine, anyway) so my financial and tax docs aren’t considered valid as proof of residency. Valid as mailing address, I learned in the DMV there, but not valid as proof of residency.

But you’re right: a day spent at the DMV is worse than the expense of living in Texas for a month just so I can get a utility bill. :grinning: