What is LawBrain?
It's a living legal community making laws accessible and interactive. Click Here to get Started »


From lawbrain.com

The REAL ID Act is a U.S. federal law specific to national identification cards and immigration issues pertaining to terrorism.

  • This LawBrain entry is a stub. Please help us expand it! Click the 'Edit' tab above to add to this page.



The REAL ID Act of 2005[1] was tacked on as a rider to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief legislation.[2] The REAL ID Act creates a set of federal standards for U.S. state drivers' licenses and identification cards. Access to federal agencies would only be allowed using an id that follows these new standards or a passport.


The following documentation must be provided to the DMV in order for a driver's license or state identification card can be issued:[3]

  • A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes full legal name and birthdate
  • Documentation of birth date
  • Documentation of legal status
  • Documentation with Social Security Number
  • Documentation showing both name and principal residence address
  • Alternative documentation allowed by each State, although such documentation must be authenticated  by each time presented

Electronic copies of each identity document will be stored at each state DMV database.


  • Cost

The cost to the states to implement REAL ID is very high.  Without federal funding, states are reluctant to use their funds for such an endeavour.

  • National Database

Placing sensitive information in a nationally accessible government database would invade privacy of U.S. citizens and expose them to identity theft.

  • Passport

REAL ID is essentially requiring driver's licenses to become a passport.  Wouldn't it cost less and require less process to just require a passport to gain entry to government buildings.


  1. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h1268enr.txt.pdf
  2. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.109hr1268
  3. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_10/6cfr37_10.html

External Links

Related Resources on FindLaw

Related Blogs on FindLaw

Failed to load RSS feed from http://search.yahooapis.com/WebSearchService/rss/webSearch.xml?appid=yahoosearchwebrss&query=REAL%20ID:blogs.findlaw.com!

                                                                            Web Services by Yahoo!

See Also


FindLaw Michelle, FindLaw Nira