When it comes to travel, there’s an important deadline coming up that you need to keep in mind — May 3, 2023. On this day, you’ll need either a REAL-ID, passport or military ID in order to board a flight, even a domestic one, or to get into a federal building.  If you want a The REAL ID -compliant driver’s license or photo ID, it’s time to book an appointment to get this done.

Thankfully, the Motor Vehicle Commission has made getting a REAL ID easier now that they’ve dropped the requirement for registrants to show a social security card or other document to prove SSN.  This is thanks to an electronically verified database with the Social Security Administration and goes into effect June 15.

“You are not required to get a REAL ID, however, starting May 3, 2023, if you typically use your driver license or non-driver ID (instead of a passport or other form of ID) to fly within the U.S. you probably want a REAL ID,” says the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website. “Otherwise you will need to use a valid U.S. passport or another federally approved form of identification. The Standard New Jersey driver license can still be used for driving.”

The REAL ID looks different in that it has a yellow star in the upper right hand corner of the driver’s license. If you want to book an appointment to get a REAL ID, you’ll need to check the website as demand is high.

The pandemic pushed back the date for REAL ID which was originally in October 2020, and then pushed to 2021, and now 2023.

The REAL ID Act was passed after the September 11th attacks as a way to establish minimum security standards for ID cards and driver’s licenses. A REAL ID costs $24 in NJ, the same as a driver’s license, and changing your current license for a REAL ID will run you $11. To get the REAL ID  as of June 15 you’ll need:

  • 2 proofs of residential address
  • 6 points of ID

You can visit the REAL ID website for more information.

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