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REAL ID Act of 2005 Goes into Effect May 7, 2025

Beginning May 7, 2025, the REAL ID Act of 2005 will go into effect. Anyone 18 years of age and older must have a REAL ID credential to access certain federal facilities, board commercial flights, nuclear power plants, and military bases in the U.S. The Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS) began issuing REAL IDs on July 1, 2019. Of Tennessee’s 5.8 million valid credentials, 1.6 million citizens have yet to decide about obtaining a REAL ID.  Tennesseans are encouraged to make their decision ahead of the May 7, 2025, implementation date to avoid the potential influx of customers at Driver Services Centers.

What alternative documents instead of a REAL ID will be accepted? A valid passport or other acceptable alternative forms of identification found here can be used in place of a REAL ID credential.

What documents are needed to apply for a REAL ID? To apply for a REAL ID, customers must bring one proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence, a valid Social Security Number, and two proofs of Tennessee residency. In addition, a certified legal document supporting the name change must be presented with the approved documents if there has been a name change. A complete list of accepted documents can be found
here. All documents must be original or certified. Photocopies will not be accepted. Citizens are encouraged to upload required documents beforehand for a faster experience and to ensure the proper documents are provided.

Where can you apply for a REAL ID? The first application for a REAL ID must be made in person at a Driver Services Center or participating County Clerk partner. Participating locations can be found here.

What if you don’t need or want a REAL ID? Those who do not wish to obtain a REAL ID will receive a standard credential indicated by “Not for REAL ID Act Purposes” on the front of the credential. Your current or common credential will continue to be accepted for general identification purposes such as driving, purchasing alcohol or tobacco products, applying for federal benefits, voting, accessing hospitals, post offices, banks, federal courts, etc.

How much does the REAL ID cost? If this is your initial issuance, the standard fee is $28.00. However, if you wish to obtain a REAL ID outside of your renewal period, there will be a duplicate fee, depending on license classification. Click here to find the exact cost of your duplicate license.

Where can I find more information about REAL ID? More information about Tennessee REAL ID can be found at www.tnrealid.gov.

How can I make a REAL ID appointment? Customers are encouraged to make an appointment ahead of time for a faster and more efficient visit to a Driver Services Center.