Hawaii Residents Now Have Until May 7, 2023, To Get a REAL ID Driver's License - to Board Planes Without a Passport

Mark Hake

Hawaii residents now have until May 7, 2025, to get a REAL ID driver's license. They will need that to be able to board planes then without carrying a U.S. Passport or passport card.

This deadline also applies to being able to enter secure Federal buildings, including military bases, nuclear facilities, and federal government offices and judicial buildings starting then.

Hawaii Has the Wrong Date

Interestingly, the Hawaii state government REAL ID website still has the old deadlines on them. For example, this site incorrectly states that the deadline for getting a REAL ID card is May 3, 2023.

That was the old deadline. In fact, this site says that the deadline was Oct. 1, 2020. Both of these sites are incorrect.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Dec. 5, 2022, that it had extended the deadline to get a gold star REAL ID-compliant driver's license to May 7, 2025.

How To Get a Hawaii REAL ID Driver's License

Here is what the State of Hawaii REAL ID driver's license looks like:

Hawaii REAL ID driver's license.Photo byHawaii Dept. of Transportation

This shows that there is a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of the license. That signifies that the holder has presented sufficient documentation to the Hawaii Dept. of Transportation to prove U.S. citizenship, an SSN card, and two proofs of residence in the state of Hawaii.

To get a Hawaii REAL driver's license or ID card, you need to go to a county DMV office and present documents that show your legal name, identity, and lawful presence in the U.S.

This can be something as simple as a birth certificate, a U.S. passport that has not expired, or a visa that shows a person is allowed to be in the U.S. There are other examples, as shown on this Hawaii state brochure documentation guide.

The applicant also has to show an SSN card or a pay stub with the SSN on it. Lastly, there have to be two original proofs of residency, such as a utility bill, old driver's license, and/or a bank statement, lease agreement, etc.

Why The DHS Extended the REAL ID Deadline

Some have speculated that the DHS extended the deadline for more reasons than they stated. The Dec. 5 announcement said that states needed more time to sign up applicants for the REAL ID license, given that COVID-19 had left lasting "legacy" effects.

But it doesn't escape even a cursory observation that this extension coincides with the Biden Administration's loose immigration policy. Allowing residents to keep flying without having to show a strict REAL ID-compliant license will likely allow many immigrants to board planes.

For example, they might not have been allowed to do so if the deadline had gone into effect on May 3, 2023. The additional 24 months until May 7, 2025, will keep people traveling throughout the U.S. That seems to further the Biden Administration's goal of promoting more undocumented people coming into and migrating around the U.S.


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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at InvestorPlace.com, Barchart.com, Medium.com, and Newsbreak.com 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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