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What is REAL ID?

REAL ID SampleOn December 3, 2018, the DMV will begin offering REAL ID-compliant licenses and identification cards, which may be used for boarding a domestic flight or entering certain federal buildings or facilities. The DMV will offer these in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, which established security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards.

Do I need a REAL ID?

  • REAL ID is an optional program.
  • You don’t need a REAL ID credential if you have a valid passport.
  • A REAL ID credential can be used to board domestic air flights and to enter secure federal buildings after stricter federal identification requirements are initiated on October 1, 2020.

When and where do I get one?

  • If you choose to obtain a REAL ID, you must complete the transaction in a DMV office.
  • AAA members may also obtain a REAL ID at any of the association’s Rhode Island branch offices. For a list of AAA locations, see here.
  • There is no additional cost for a REAL ID, when you apply for it during your renewal period. A REAL ID will cost $26.50 outside your renewal period.


What you need to get a REAL ID card


If you decide you want a REAL ID, you will need to get the right documents together. You must have:

  • One (1) proof of identity document, such as a certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's State of birth;
  • AND one (1) proof of Social Security document, such an official Social Security Card (laminated cards are acceptable);
  • AND two  (2) proof of Rhode Island residency documents, such as a utility bill (gas, electric, telephone, cable, oil, water, sewer, satellite, heat, cell phone) with the address of residence clearly stated in the applicant’s name.

For a full list of acceptable documentation and further detail on documentation requirements, please download the REAL ID Identification Documents List, linked below.

Additional Resources