Infographic that shows why you need a REAL ID and what it is.

What is a REAL ID and why do you need one?

A REAL ID, indicated by a star on your driver's license, is a requirement for flying, among other things. Find out what it means.

Beginning in the fall of 2021, a new driver's license will be required for Americans who wish to travel domestically via commercial aircraft. Known as a REAL ID, this will also be required for entry to certain federal facilities.

What is a REAL ID exactly? The REAL ID Act, established in 2005 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, authorizes a federal standard for the issuance and production of identification cards and driver's licenses. How do you know if you already have one? There will be a star on driver's licenses on the upper right corner.

If your license isn't set to expire before then or you haven't visited a licensing facility yet, don't panic. You can still travel as long as you have an alternative document such as a passport or passport card.

In addition, some states are handling these requirements differently, and there are some exceptions, too. Keep reading to understand the new rules surrounding REAL IDs and what it means for you.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

Start a quote

Select a product to start a quote.

Find agents near
you or contact us

There’s one ready to offer personalized service to fit your specific needs.

Related articles

What is cloud storage and is it safe?

Cloud computing has unique cyber security risks. Read more about what the cloud is, cloud computing providers, safety of the cloud and strong passwords.

Social media safety tips to protect your information

With the popularity of social media continually growing, it's important to proactively keep yourself safe and your account and information private and secure.

Phone applications - downloading safety

Smartphone applications can access your data and location. Learn to play safe.

How to register a car at the DMV

Everything you need to know for registering your car at the DMV hassle-free.