What is Real ID?
REAL ID is a nationwide effort to improve the integrity and security of State-issued driver licenses and identification cards, which in turn will help fight terrorism and reduce fraud. After the September 11th tragedy when terrorists had valid licenses, but were not here legally, the federal government took a hard look at the entire process. The changes are designed to make the driver license and id cards we issue more secure.
The REAL ID Act became effective nationwide on May 11, 2008. Florida began issuing REAL ID compliant credentials on January 1, 2010. To obtain a REAL ID compliant license or ID card, you must provide certain documents establishing your identity, lawful presence in the U.S., two proofs of residential address and social security number. We must require these documents as though we've never seen the customer before, even if they have held a license for many years. Customers only have to bring these documents one time, unless something changes, like a name or address change.
Although you may currently be eligible to renew or obtain a replacement driver license or identification card by mail or online, please consider this important note:
We encourage those who have not obtained a Real ID compliant driver license or identification card plan a visit to a driver license office in the future to ensure your license or identification card is accepted by federal authorities. The Department of Homeland Security announced on December 20, 2013, that enforcement of REAL ID credentials will begin in a measured, fair and responsible way. Floridians will first see enforcement at nuclear power plants and restricted areas of certain federal facilities. No changes in enforcement are planned to occur any sooner than 2016 at airports across the country.
For additional information regarding the REAL ID Act or its enforcement please visit the Department of Homeland Security website at this link: http://www.dhs.gov/secure-drivers-licenses
To become Real ID compliant, you must take documents (see GatherGoGet.com) to a driver license office when you renew or replace your license.