Real ID

If you plan to fly within the U.S., visit a military base or other federal buildings, the Department of Homeland Security will require identification that is REAL ID compliant (or show another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport) beginning October 1, 2020.

Next year, holiday air travelers will face new identification requirements to board their flights. When enforcement of the REAL ID Act begins Oct. 1, 2020, the regular Wisconsin driver license or ID will no longer be accepted identification for domestic air travel or to enter a federal building or military base. Travelers will need to present a REAL ID-compliant driver license or state ID card or another acceptable form of identification (such as a passport).

“Thanksgiving and holiday travel is hectic enough. This time next year, air travelers will need to show a REAL ID – such as a driver license or ID with the REAL ID star – or they will get turned away at the TSA checkpoint. Wisconsin DMV has tools to help make getting the designation on your driver license or ID easy,” Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Administrator Kristina Boardman said.

DMV customers should start online: to prepare the paperwork, make an appointment at the DMV and reduce their time in line.

What documents are required to get a REAL ID?

To obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card, individuals must visit a Wisconsin DMV and bring the following original documents or a certified copy (not a photocopy, fax or scan):

  • Proof of Name and Date of Birth
  • Proof of Legal Presence in the U.S.
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Name Change (if applicable)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of Address

For a complete list of acceptable documents, visit

DMV’s interactive Driver Licensing Guide will help customers develop a personalized checklist of the required documents needed to bring to the DMV. It also allows customers to pre-fill any required application(s), print and bring the forms or submit them electronically (if eligible), and print a checklist of required documents to bring.

Costs to get a REAL ID

If it’s time to renew a driver license or ID, DMV customers can receive a REAL ID-compliant card for no additional fee if the upgrade takes place at the same time as the renewal. Customers whose current driver license or ID will not expire before 2020, may obtain a REAL ID-compliant card for $14 (the cost of a duplicate driver license), or $16 for a duplicate ID card.

Wisconsin offers both REAL ID-compliant and non-compliant driver licenses and ID cards. The cards look similar; REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a µ. Non-compliant cards don’t have the star or are marked “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES.” People may use other forms of ID, such as a passport. TSA offers a list of acceptable alternative identification cards:

Wisconsin DMV has been offering REAL ID compliant driver licenses and IDs to customers since Jan. 14, 2013. Since this time, nearly every Wisconsin customer has been given REAL ID information, and the opportunity to enroll in the federal program, as a part of their renewal notice. DMV is committed to helping residents who want the convenience of a REAL ID get one on their driver license or ID before the October 1, 2020 deadline.

Listen to DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman discuss the process for obtaining a REAL ID in WisDOT’s “Transportation Connects Us” podcast:

For more information, visit

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