What is REAL ID?

What is REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants
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FAQs

Yes. State-issued Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDLs) are designated as acceptable border-crossing documents by DHS under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and are acceptable alternatives for official federal purposes such as accessing a Federal facility or boarding a commercial aircraft. Individual agency policies may still apply.

Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington are the only states that currently issue EDLs.

Until full enforcement of REAL ID begins on May 3, 2023, DHS and its component agencies, including TSA at its airport security checkpoints, will continue to accept for identification purposes all Vermont Driver’s Licenses and ID cards, as Vermont has been recognized as a Real ID compliant.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants

TSA will NOT accept a Temporary License/ID as a standalone document. It will accept the expiring or expired card with the Temporary License/ID as proof of the renewal. Customers should visit TSA’s website which contains detailed information on the identity documents they will accept: tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

If a mistake is found on your license/ID please contact us.

The primary purpose of a Driver’s license is to establish the holder of that license has the minimum skills required to safely operate a motor vehicle. Many entities have decided that this driving document can be accepted as proof of ID. The department does not have any authority to mandate that other entities accept our driving documents as proof of ID. 

Note that Vermont is Real ID compliant. The Vermont Driver Privilege Card is Not Real ID compliant.  See more on Real ID here

 

Yes, the Vermont EDL & EID are designated as acceptable border-crossing documents by DHS under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Vermont EDL & EID are acceptable for official Federal purposes (i.e., boarding a commercial aircraft, accessing a federal facility, or entering a nuclear power plant).

Your card will read “limited term” and the expiration date will coincide with the expiration of valid legal status obtained from documentation provided. If your lawful stay has no defined end or expiration date, you will have the option of choosing a 2 or 4 year card.

No. The Driver's License or ID card remains fully valid for all purposes normally associated with a Driver's License or ID card in the form issued.

A Driver's License or ID card marked “limited term” merely signifies that it is issued to a person who is a foreign national with temporary lawful status in the United States and has a shorter term than a regular Driver's License or ID card.

Contact Us

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

Monday-Friday: 7:45am-4:30pm
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