News & Events

What is Real ID

As you may have heard by now, the November election isn’t the only national event on the horizon in 2020. That’s right, get your old driver’s license and scissors ready: Real ID is coming! Passed by U.S. Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act basically sets a uniform standard for all state-issued driver licenses and identification cards if they are used by federal authorities for identification purposes. The intent of the act is to reduce identity fraud and terrorism by enhancing the security of state-issued id cards.

How are Texas Drivers Licenses Impacted

Effective October 1, 2020, any Texas DL or ID card that is not compliant with the Real ID Act will be rejected by Homeland Security at the airport when traveling domestically or when attempting to enter a federal building. Believe it or not, Texas started issuing Real ID compliant id cards in 2016. You can easily distinguish a compliant Texas driver license from a non-compliant Texas DL. The Real ID Act compliant license is vertically oriented, instead of horizontally oriented, and has a gold star within a circle in the upper right corner.

What do Texas Drivers Need to Do?

Don’t worry, all Texas licenses remain valid until the expiration date shown on the card. If you have renewed or replaced your Texas driver’s license since 2016, and you see the encircled gold star in the upper right corner of your license, CONGRATULATIONS, you’re already Real ID Act compliant and don’t have to do anything! If not, you may continue using your NON-COMPLIANT id or license until October 1, 2020, but only for state-related purposes such as driving a vehicle, voting, banking or buying a six-pack at the quickie mart (baby face). It will NOT be accepted at the airport after October 1st!

Renew or Replace Your Texas Drivers License or ID

Don’t have a Texas license yet? Enroll in an online Texas driver’s education course today.