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What is a REAL ID?


The N.C. REAL ID is a driver’s license or ID card issued by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles that meets new federal identification standards. The requirements are part of the long-delayed enforcement of a federal law known as the REAL ID Act. Congress passed this legislation in response to the 9-11 terrorist attacks. It is designed to prevent terrorists from obtaining state-issued identification documents in the interest of national security. North Carolina began issuing these IDs on May 1, 2017. Neither the North Carolina state nor the federal government will require you to have a REAL ID.

For commercial air travel, a REAL ID, a passport, or other approved ID will be required to board a flight starting Oct. 1, 2020. Although not required to travel on domestic commercial airlines, it will be required to enter federal facilities. Your REAL ID will have a gold star in the upper right-hand corner, whereas a standard driver’s license will contain the words: “Not for Federal Identification.”

The REAL ID costs the same as a North Carolina driver’s license or identification card. If you are renewing your driver’s license, a REAL ID costs the same as a Class C drivers license. If it is not time to renew your license, the REAL ID costs the same as a duplicate license.

To obtain a REAL ID, you will need to provide three types of documents. One document must show your identity and date of birth. This can include a birth certificate, a passport or one of several documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Next, you will need one document that shows your Social Security number. This includes a Social Security card or one of the following: a 1099 tax form, a W-2 form or a pay stub, and each must show your name and full Social Security number.

Finally, you will need two documents that prove you are a current resident of North Carolina. This can include your current unexpired driver’s license, your vehicle registration card, voter precinct card, a DD214 veteran’s form, utility bill, school records or North Carolina vehicle insurance policy.

If you are not a United States citizen, you will need to provide documentation demonstrating that you are lawfully in the United States. You will need to visit a DMV office in person to obtain a REAL ID. But you will be able to renew a REAL ID online.

If you or a loved one are struggling with receiving your REAL ID, contact Morgan Law today to discuss your case. Our trusted and experienced Charlotte criminal defense attorneys is here to help you have a quick and successful case.