Having Trouble Finding a Real ID Appointment? You May Be Making This Common Mistake

Morristown Minute

Struggling to get a Real ID appointment? You may be making this common mistake.Photo byMorristown Minute

Thousands of Real ID appointments are available says the MVC, so why can't NJ drivers find them? You may be making this common mistake when trying to schedule an appointment...


There has been a lot of talk about the Real ID requirements coming to New Jersey starting May 7, 2025, and New Jerseyans have scrambled for appointments since the announcement of this security initiative. 

While the MVC struggled to adapt to demand in the early days of the Real ID announcement, today, as appointments become more plentiful, NJ drivers face a new roadblock to securing an appointment: the ambiguity of the MVC website.

When you go to MVC’s appointment portal, there are two different kinds of Real ID appointments: one is for customers with licenses expiring within three months [Renewal], and the other is for customers with licenses not up for renewal but seeking a Real ID upgrade [Real ID, Non-Renewal].

Options from the NJ MVC website.Photo byMorristown Minute

If you select the wrong appointment – say you have a license expiring later than 3 months and chose the ‘Renewal’ option – you may get the common error message, “Unfortunately, we are unable to verify that you are eligible for this appointment based upon the data you entered. If you have previously been advised of a notice of suspension, please visit this page for guidance,” along with a link for more information.

This issue has led many to believe that there are no appointments available, despite the MVC greatly increasing the number of available appointments. According to MVC spokesman William Connolly, there are over 2,500 Real ID appointments each business day, statewide – not including the Mobile Real ID Unit events and Saturday Real ID events.

Make sure to bring all the required documents for Real ID: two proofs of residential address, one verifiable Social Security number, and identity documents that add up to six REAL ID Points. To make sure you meet all the requirements, check out REALID.nj.gov before your appointment. If you have trouble making an appointment on the website, call the MVC at (609) 292-6500, or check the website for direct phone extensions by topic.

Starting May 7, 2025, you will need a Real ID or passport to fly in the US.Photo byMorristown Minute

Many New Jerseyans are eligible to get their license renewal for free this year under a fee holiday in the state budget – the cost for Real ID will be reduced from $35 to $11 and the $24 renewal fee will be waived. The holiday applies to customers if they already have a New Jersey-issued Real ID with an expiration date between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023, and it applies partially to customers who are upgrading from a standard license to a Real ID if their license expires between those dates.


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