Alaska Makes It Clear - You Will Need a REAL ID Driver's License by May 7, 2025 to Be Able to Board Planes

Mark Hake

According to the Alaska DMV, its residents have until May 7, 2025, to get a REAL ID driver's license in order to board commercial planes in the U.S. starting then. It also applies to entering secure federal buildings, including military bases and nuclear facilities. Without it, a person must present a valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card.

An Alaska REAL ID-compliant driver's license has a black star in the upper right-hand corner, as seen in the sample below:
Alaska REAL ID driver's license.Photo

This shows that the holder has obtained a REAL ID driver's license by the black circle with a white star in the upper right-hand corner. This signifies that the holder has presented documents to the Alaska DMV proving their U.S. citizenship and Alaska residency.

Alaska started offering the REAL ID driver's license in Jan. 2019. That means that some of the state's residents that have not yet renewed their DL may have to bring documents to the state DMV to get the REAL ID license.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 required states to start offering driver's licenses that had U.S. citizenship or a lawful U.S. presence proof in documentation in order to get the license. The Act established requirements for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification (ID) cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet the requirements.

How To Get an Alaska REAL ID Driver's License

Alaska's DMV has an online checklist brochure that shows the requirements and documents that you must bring to their office in order to get a REAL ID driver's license.

It shows there are 3 types of documents needed: Identity and lawful status, SSN, and Proof of Residency. In addition, any name change must be documented so that the person's new name matches the documents presented in the three areas.

For example, to prove your identity and lawful presence in the U.S. you can present a birth certificate or valid, unexpired U.S. passport. If you have had a marriage, divorce, or adoption, you then also present the documents showing when a court acknowledged these events.

In addition, an SSN card is needed, or else a pay stub with the SSN on it. Lastly, applicants need to present two forms of proof of residency in Alaska, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or even an existing driver's license in Alaska.

Why The REAL ID Deadline Was Extended

On Dec. 5, 2022, the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the full enforcement of the REAL ID Act from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025.

The DHS said the reason was to allow states more time to get people signed up. This was due to the legacy effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But others are skeptical that this was the sole reason. They believe that other policy-related reasons may be in play.

For example, the Biden Administration's loose immigration policy might be one reason. Without the full enforcement at TSA for the gold or black star driver's license, people with less documentation or lawful status might be able to fly on planes.

That might be one goal of the goals of the Biden Administration as its loose immigration policy might be to encourage undocumented or recent U.S. migrants to travel around the U.S.


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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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