RALEIGH – The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles reached a milestone with the issuance of its 2 millionth REAL ID license or ID enhancement in September, more than a year before the REAL ID Act will go into effect.
Starting Oct. 1, 2021, federal agencies will require a REAL ID, U.S. passport or another form of federally-approved identification to board commercial airlines and to enter many federal buildings or facilities. The original date was Oct. 1 of this year, but it was delayed a year last spring due to COVID-19.
A REAL ID is optional and not a requirement, but depending on one’s situation, it could make flying domestically or entering federal facilities easier by not requiring you to carry multiple identification documents.
Obtaining the REAL ID enhancement is easy. If you need to renew your license or ID card, are getting either one for the first time, or just want to upgrade what you already have, it just requires you to provide additional documentation beyond the normal license and ID process requirements. The details on what is required can be found on the REAL ID section of the DMV website. The current process requires making an appointment at a license office, which can be done online on the DMV website.
Once someone has a REAL ID, noted by a gold star in a corner of your license or ID, it remains in effect even when it is time to renew your identification, so you will not have to show the additional documentation again.