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The Real ID Act in Nevada

US Department of Homeland Security

Nevada offers the opportunity to obtain a Real ID driver’s license or identification card which meets the standards of the Real ID Act of 2005. The Real ID program in Nevada began November 12, 2014.

Sometime after January 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require a person to have a Real ID compliant license or ID if they wish to board an airplane or enter federal buildings where ID is required without showing a passport or other documentation. See Real ID Enforcement in Brief for details.

Applying for a Real ID license or ID is easy: just show the same identification documentation you would for a standard driver’s license or identification card, but choose the Real ID option.

If you lack these documents, contact your state or county Vital Statistics Office, an online records service and/or the Social Security Administration.

Drivers who do not have acceptable documents for a Real ID or standard license may apply for a Driver Authorization Card (DAC).

One change for all Nevada residents is that the DMV now requires two documents to prove Nevada residency. Utility bills, mortgage statements, rental agreements, and bank statements with the correct residential address are all acceptable.

License Samples

Real ID Licenses Standard Licenses

These examples show cards issued on or after November 12, 2014.

A Real ID driver's license or ID card has a gold circle with a star cut-out in the upper right-hand corner.

Standard licenses or ID cards have a heading stating “NOT FOR OFFICIAL FEDERAL USE."

Licenses and ID cards will be marked “LIMITED TERM" when immigration documents are used to prove identity. These expire at the same time as the holder's U.S. Visa.

Cards issued prior to November 12, 2014 remain valid until expiration. However, they do not contain the gold circle or the statements on federal use or limited term.

Licenses and ID cards issued to residents under 21 years of age have a vertical format.

Real ID Driver License Standard Nevada License

Limitd-Term Real ID License

Limited Term Standard Nevada License

Getting a Real ID License or ID Card

You need to present proof of identity, lawful status, Social Security number, and two residency documents in person at a DMV office.

These are generally the same documents you used to obtain your Nevada license or ID the first time. You must show them again, plus two documents that show your Nevada residential address. You cannot obtain a Real ID card online or by mail.

You may upgrade to a Real ID license or ID at any time without a renewal. The fee is $8.25 or $12.25 for a commercial license. If you wish to renew, see Driver License Renewals or ID Card Renewals for fees and other details. Real ID is an optional program. Your standard license or ID will remain valid until expiration.

Most DMV offices offer Dash Pass to check in ahead of time. Be sure to complete the Application for Driving Privileges or ID Card (DMV 002 - pdf) before you reach the window.

Real ID Proof of Identity and Residency


Frequently Asked Questions

The Real ID License or ID Card

Is a "Real ID" a different form of identification than a driver's license or ID card?

No. You receive only one state-issued driver's license or ID card. This may be compliant with the Real ID Act or it may be a standard license or ID. Nevada also issues Driver Authorization Cards to those who cannot meet the Real ID or standard requirements.

A person may hold only one state-issued driver's license or identification card. You may not hold multiple driver's licenses or state-issued ID cards.

Do I have to get a Real ID license or ID card right away?

No. You may wait until your next in-person renewal. Existing Nevada driver’s licenses and ID cards will be accepted for boarding aircraft until individuals choose between a compliant or non-compliant card at their next renewal.

I showed my proof of identity documents when I first obtained a Nevada license. Why do I have to show them again?

The Real ID Act establishes minimum standards for proof of identity and requires residents to meet these standards when applying for a compliant license or ID. In Nevada, proof of identity presented prior to November 10, 2014, is not valid to obtain a Real ID license or ID card.

The Nevada DMV issued compliant licenses marked with a gold star for a brief period in early 2010. These have expired and were replaced with standard licenses upon renewal.

Do I have to provide my documents every time I renew my license or ID?

No. Most residents are required to provide documents only the first time they apply for a Real ID license or ID card. Permanent residents and limited term residents are required to show their immigration documents at each renewal. In addition, any material changes such as name, date of birth, Social Security number or gender will require documentation.

If I don’t have a Social Security number, can I get a driver’s license or identification card?

Yes. You are eligible for a standard driver’s license or ID card provided you meet the other proof of identity requirements. You may also be eligible for a Driver Authorization Card. See Residency & Proof of Identity.

Will you accept an out of state (OOS) Real ID?

An OOS Real ID is acceptable proof for identity. If a limited term OOS Real ID is presented, you must also provide a valid immigration document(s).

Real ID Uses and Enforcement

Can I use my current driver's license or state ID to board an aircraft?

Yes.  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will continue to accept driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards from all jurisdictions during the transition to Real ID.

As early as 2016, the federal government will require that people boarding commercial aircraft show a Real ID license/ID card or show alternative identification such as a passport. Existing Nevada driver’s licenses and ID cards will be accepted for boarding aircraft until that time.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will ensure the public has ample advance notice before identification requirements for boarding aircraft change.  See Real ID Enforcement in Brief on the DHS website for more information.

When will I need to show a Real ID driver’s license or ID Card?

For the first two years of enforcement, REAL ID will primarily be needed to access federal facilities where identification is required. The following timeline outlines the long term impact of Real ID.

Phases of Real ID Enforcement

Phase Location Enforcement Date
Phase 1 Restricted areas (i.e., areas accessible by agency personnel, contractors, and their guests) for DHS headquarters in Washington, D.C. April 21, 2014
Phase 2 Restricted areas for all federal facilities & nuclear power plants July 21, 2014
Phase 3 Semi-restricted areas (i.e., areas available to the general public but subject to ID-based access control) for most federal facilities January 19, 2015
Phase 4 Boarding federally-regulated commercial aircraft
Individuals who hold a driver’s license or ID card from a non-compliant state must also show a second form of identification to board a federally-regulated commercial aircraft.
No sooner than 2016

See Real ID Enforcement in Brief from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more details.

Will I need a Real ID license to apply for federal benefits or to register to vote?

No. A Real ID license or ID is NOT required to:

  • Enter federal facilitates that do not require a person to present identification
  • Vote or register to vote
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits
  • Be licensed by a state to drive
  • Access health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally-protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

See Real ID Enforcement in Brief from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more details.

Will a Real ID license have an RFID chip or other form of biometrics built into the card?


Will my personal information be stored in a national database?


What does it mean if my driver’s license or ID card states “NOT FOR OFFICIAL FEDERAL USE”?

This or a similar statement means that the issuing state offers its residents the option to obtain a driver's license or identification card which is not compliant with Real ID and that the license holder has chosen to exercise that option.

A variety of reasons may underlie that choice, including personal preference, religious conviction, or the inability or decision not to provide original documents needed to verify identity, citizenship, or lawful status in the United States.

No inferences or assumptions should be drawn about the particular reason an individual possesses a card with this statement. It does not indicate a person's citizenship or immigration status.

A license or ID card with this statement will not be accepted for access to federal facilities where ID is required, entering nuclear power plants and boarding federally-regulated commercial aircraft.

Will TSA accept identity documents other than driver’s licenses?

Yes. TSA accepts other forms of identity documents, such as a passport or Permanent Resident Card, and will continue to do so. See TSA Acceptable IDs.

The Real ID Act of 2005

What is the Real ID Act?

Real ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification. Real ID implements a 9/11 Commission recommendation urging the federal government to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.”

Passed by Congress in May of 2005, the Real ID Act was part of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and the Tsunami Relief Act. It is not Nevada law but federal law that sets identification standards for state driver's licenses if those licenses are to be used as identification for boarding an aircraft, entering a federal building where identification is required or entering a nuclear power plant.

The Real ID Act is intended to combat terrorism, identity theft, and other crimes by strengthening the integrity and security of state-issued identification. The Act calls on states to implement a set of minimum national standards in several areas:

  • Information and security features that must be incorporated into each card
  • Proof of identity, date of birth, Social Security number, lawful status, and primary residence address
  • Verification of the source documents provided by an applicant
  • Increased security and privacy of personal information collected when applying for a driver’s license or identification card

The full text of the Act is available from the Library of Congress. See Real ID Act of 2005. (109th Congress H.R. 418).

What does the Real ID Act do?

The Real ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum standards for the production and issuance of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.

It prohibits federal agencies from accepting state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards for certain official uses unless the Department of Homeland Security determines that the state meets Real ID standards. Official uses are defined as accessing federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants and boarding federally-regulated commercial aircraft.