New Federal Requirement for Drivers Licenses

Morristown Minute

Starting May 3, 2023, you must have a REAL ID-compliant driver's license/ID to fly within the U.S., unless you use a U.S. passport or another federally approved form of identification.

*Updated 6/13/2022 with new information and formatting.

REAL ID is the new federal requirement for state-issued driver's licenses and non-driver IDs to help prevent fraudulent identification.

Previously, drivers were not required to get a REAL ID. However, starting May 3, 2023, if you use your driver's license to fly within the U.S. you may want to get a REAL ID. Otherwise, you will need to use a valid U.S. passport or other federally approved forms of ID to travel domestically via air.

You can schedule an appointment to switch to a REAL ID here.

You will need to bring 2 proofs of residential address, 1 proof of your social security number, and six proofs of ID.

“The major difference is that a Standard driver license or non-driver ID will no longer be accepted as identification to fly within the U.S. after May 2, 2023. The REAL ID looks like your traditional New Jersey driver license or ID, but with a star in the upper right corner. The Standard driver license or ID looks similar, but instead of a star, it will have the words NOT FOR “REAL ID” PURPOSES printed on it. Both the REAL ID driver license and the Standard driver license are valid for driving.” – New Jersey MVC

The REAL ID driver's license looks like a traditional NJ driver's license, but with a star in the upper right corner.

Non-REAL ID licenses will look similar, but instead of a star will have the words NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES printed on them.

A REAL ID is an acceptable form of a driver's license and simply provides a way to use your driver's license to fly within the U.S.

By federal law, people 18 years of age and older after May 2, 2023, will need a REAL ID to fly within the U.S. if they do not have a passport.

The REAL ID will also cost more than a standard license. The traditional NJ License/ID costs $24. The REAL ID costs $35.

If you lost your NJ REAL ID, you can get a duplicate online.

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UPDATE: What are 6 points of ID?

In response to reader questions, below is a detailed description of the forms one needs to collect achieve the 6 points of identification required to obtain a REAL ID.

*indicates a required section

Required Documents: Step 1*

2 Proofs of address: two of the following options -

  • Valid NJ driver license/non-driver identification card, or a Motor Vehicle Commission issued driver license renewal form (displaying residential address)
  • Utility or credit card bill issued in the past 90 days
  • Checking or savings account statement from a bank or credit union issued within the past 60 days
  • Original, unexpired lease or rental agreement
  • Tax bill, statement or receipt, and/or any letter or correspondence received from the IRS or tax office within the past year
  • First class mail from any government agency in the past six months
  • If under 18, statement from parent or guardian certifying address of applicant

Required Documents: Step 2*

1 Proof of Social Security Number: one of the following options -

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 Form issued within the past year
  • Pay Stub with name and full SSN
  • 1099 Form issued within the past year

Required Documents: Step 3, Six-points of ID*

1 Primary Document: select one of the following -

  • Unexpired US passport or passport card - 4 points
  • US or US Territory birth certificate certified copy filed with a state office of vital statistics or equivalent agency in the individual’s state of birth - 4 points
  • US Department of State birth certificate (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) - 4 points
  • US Department of State Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) - 4 points
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550, N-578, or N-570) - 4 points
  • Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561) - 4 points
  • Current Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by USCIS (with expiration date) - 4 points
  • Unexpired foreign passport with valid visa and I-94 (stamp or form version) - 4 points
  • Current photo employment authorization card (USCIS Form I-688B or I-766) - 4 points
  • Current Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by INS (without expiration date) - 2 points

And if needed, a Secondary Document(s): cannot use more than two 1-point documents -

  • Unexpired standard photo driver license from NJ or any state, or US Territory, and the District of Columbia - 1 point
  • Unexpired standard non-driver identification card from NJ only - 1 point
  • Social Security card - 1 point
  • Bank/credit union statement or record (within the past 60 days) - 1 point
  • ATM/debit card with preprinted name and applicant’s signature (ATM/debit card and bank statement cannot be submitted together) - 1 point
  • Current health insurance card or prescription card displaying applicant’s name - 1 point
  • Current employee identification card with pay stub - 1 point
  • State professional license - 1 point
  • NJ public assistance card with photo (also known as an NJ Social Services identification card) - 1 point
  • High school diploma, GED or college degree - 1 point
  • Property tax statement, bill or receipt issued by an NJ municipality - 1 points
  • For NJ high school students: a waiver certificate for the written portion of the driver’s test - 1 points
  • Veterans Administration universal access photo identification card - 1 points
  • Unexpired federal government employee driver license - 2 points
  • Unexpired federal government employee photo identification card - 2 points
  • US military discharge papers (Form DD-214) - 2 points
  • FAA pilot license - 2 points
  • US school photo identification card with transcript or school records - 2 points
  • US college photo identification card with transcript - 2 points
  • Legal name change court order signed by a judge or court clerk - 3 points
  • Civil marriage or civil union certificate or divorce decree - 3 points
  • US adoption papers - 3 points
  • Current US military photo identification card - 3 points
  • Current US military dependent card - 3 points
  • US military photo retiree card - 3 points
  • NJ firearm purchaser card - 3 points
  • Unexpired REAL ID driver license, non-driver identification card, or probationary license from any state, US territory and the District of Columbia - 4 points

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