Indiana Says the Countdown Is On - Will Your License Allow You to Fly on May 3, 2023? You Need a REAL ID Then

Mark Hake

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has a website that says the countdown is on. There are now 155 days left until May 3, 2023, the deadline to get a REAL ID driver's license or ID that will allow you to ly on a commercial plane then.

Without a REAL ID driver's license or ID you will need to have a passport, passport card, or Department of Defense ID to get on a plane. Or even to enter a secure federal building, military base, or nuclear facility.

A sample REAL ID driver's license is seen below:
Sample Indiana REAL ID.Photo byIN BMV

This shows that there is a star in the upper right-hand corner. It can also sometimes be a gold circle star.

You don't have to upgrade to a REAL ID driver's license. And you don't need one to vote, or get federal benefits like Social Security or Veteran's benefits.

But without it by May 3, 2023, you will need to bring your passport just to get on a plane in the U.S. And you will also need one to get into a federal building with security, as well as military bases or nuclear facilities.

In other words, it is going to be a hassle without one.

How To Get a REAL ID in Indiana

If your license from Indiana does not have a star in the upper right-hand corner you should probably look into getting one. It requires bringing documents to the BMV.

Indiana has a nifty one-page REAL ID Documentation Checklist brochure that shows the types of documents you need to bring.

For most people, you simply need to bring

1. An unexpired passport or original birth certificate

2. Your Social Security card or a pay-stub with your SSN on it

3. Two proofs of Indiana residence. This can include your existing driver's license plus a utility bill or a bank statement.

If you have had a name change, such as with a marriage, divorce, etc., just bring all the documents necessary that show the name change.

In addition, Indiana has a convenient interactive documentation guide that will walk you through your particular document requirements before going to the BMV.

Indiana also has a FAQ section on what to do in case you cannot find your necessary documents.

Don't Wait or Procrastinate

Lines are likely to get long starting in the new year, especially as people plan their spring vacations and they wake up to their need for a REAL ID upgrade.

You might want to use this time now to schedule an appointment to bring the documents necessary (and bring the necessary cost). Unfortunately, the only way to see what your costs will be is the go through the interactive documentation guide that applies to your own particular license renewal or REAL ID upgrade situation. You can also call 888-692-6841.


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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at,,, and as well as TalkMarkets.

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Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks as well as cryptos, hedge funds, and private equity. He previously ran his own hedge fund, investment research firm, and acted as CFO for a fintech startup. He focuses on finding value, arbitrage, and hidden asset opportunities.

Phoenix, AZ

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