What is the NC REAL ID and what requirements you need to get one

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- On Oct. 1, 2020, the REAL ID Act will go into effect in North Carolina and throughout the country.

On and after that date, all federal agencies will require a REAL ID, a U.S. passport or another form of federally-approved identification in order to board commercial airlines and enter federal buildings.

The deadline is causing delays at DMV offices. So much so that DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup said North Carolinians should ask themselves if REAL ID is something they need for themselves immediately.

Jessup said people who are not planning to fly should consider waiting until after the Oct. 1 deadline--when the rush has abated--to get their REAL ID

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So far, the North Carolina DMV has issued about 1.3 million REAL IDs and expects another 1.8 million more people will need one.

"REAL ID is the new identification you'll be required to have starting October 1st of (2020). If you get here and you don't have one, or some other federally-approved document like a valid passport or US military ID, you will be turned away at the checkpoint. You will not be able to board your flight," said Stephanie Hawco, the Director of Media Relations for RDU.

What do you need to get a REAL ID? The Department of Transportation lists several acceptable documents:

You will need all of the following items to obtain your REAL ID:
  • One document (with full name) proving identity and date of birth
  • One document (with full name and full Social Security number) confirming Social Security number
  • Two documents (with current physical address) proving North Carolina residency
  • If you're a non-U.S. citizen, you'll also need one document (with full name) proving legal presence/lawful status
  • If you have had any name change, you will need one or more documents verifying your name change


Obtaining a REAL ID is optional. The state stresses that if you have no plans to fly on an airplane or enter a federal facility such as a courthouse or military base, there's no need to change your driver's license or ID card.
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