Does your Florida license have a gold star in the upper right corner?

If you answered yes, then you have a Florida Real ID driver’s license. The Sunshine State started issuing Real ID licenses and identification cards on Jan. 4, 2010. Why does having this  matter? Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, you will need either a Real ID Florida driver’s license, U.S. passport or another form of federally approved identification before you can board a commercial airline or enter federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

The Real ID Act

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 and became effective nationwide in 2008. The recommendation to the Federal Government to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses” came from the 9/11 Commission.

Real ID is an effort to improve the security of state-issued driver licenses and ID cards. The aim is to help fight terrorism as well as reduce identity fraud. 

Currently, all states are Real ID-compliant except Oregon, Oklahoma and New Jersey. Oregon and Oklahoma have an extension on Real ID enforcement. Oregon will begin issuing Real ID documents on July 6, 2020; Oklahoma will begin Sept.18, 2020. New Jersey is under review for Real ID enforcement. They have several agencies offering Real ID licenses and ID cards, but not all state-wide. 

Florida Real ID requirements

If you don’t have a Real ID-compliant ID card, you’ll need to go to the DMV or a tax collector office. You can find a location near you at the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles site. As of Jan. 2, 2020, drivers with licenses that are not Real ID compliant are no longer able to renew their license online. 

The documents you will be required to have include: 

Proof of date of birth and lawful presence in the United States. One (1) document is required in the form of either a:

  • Valid (not expired) U.S. passport

  • Birth certificate (original or certified copy)

  • Consular report of birth abroad

  • Certificate of naturalization (from DHS)

  • Certificate of citizenship

  • Valid (not expired) permanent resident card

  • Employment authorization document

  • Foreign passport with approved I-94 form

Proof of Social Security number. One (1) document is required in the form of either a:

  • Social Security card

  • W-2 form or any 1099 form (not handwritten)

  • Pay check/stub with your name and full Social Security number

  • SSN Denial Notice with passport, visa, and I-94 form

Proof of Florida residency. Two (2) different documents are required in the form of either a:

  • Mortgage, deed, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement

  • Florida voter registration card

  • Florida vehicle registration or title

  • Utility bill or hook up/work order dated within 60 days

  • Car payment statement

  • Selective service card

  • Medical or health card with address listed

  • Current auto insurance or renters/homeowner’s insurance policy 

  • Educational institution transcript for the current school year

  • Unexpired professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.

  • W-2 form or 1099 form

  • Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status

  • A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider or a half-way house verifying they receive mail for the customer. The letter must be accompanied by a Certification of Address form.

  • Bank statement (checking, savings or investment account statements)

  • Mail from federal, state, county or city government agencies

  • FDLE registration form completed by local sheriff’s department

Florida Real ID sample_front

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Sample Florida Real ID driver's license

How much does a Florida Real ID driver’s license cost?

If you need to upgrade to a Florida Real ID driver’s license or ID card, you will need to pay the $25 replacement fee.

There is an additional $6.25 surcharge if you get your Real ID license or ID from a local tax collector’s office. 

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