Secretary of State
The REAL ID ACT is the post-9/11 federal requirement that sets higher security protocols for the production of driver's licenses and state ID cards, including the use of features to prevent illegal copying or altering. You can learn more by watching this video or visiting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.
Who needs a REAL ID?
Anyone who plans to travel by air within the United States or enter certain federal facilities such as military bases or nuclear power plants will need a REAL ID document beginning May 3, 2023. Find out if you are REAL ID-ready by using this online tool.
What is a REAL ID document?
The good news is many people already have a REAL ID document, such as a valid U.S. passport, a DHS Trusted Traveler Card or an enhanced driver's license. For a full list of acceptable REAL ID documents, follow this link. If you have one of them, you are good to go and don't need to take any further action.
For those who don't have a REAL ID document, you can make your Michigan license or state ID card REAL ID-compliant by visiting a Secretary of State branch office and presenting the required documents. If you make an appointment, you'll be in and out in 30 minutes or less.
The REAL ID star
A standard driver's license or state ID card that's a REAL ID will be marked with a star in the upper right corner. Airport TSA agents will look for that star when REAL ID goes into effect.
All enhanced driver's licenses (EDL) and state ID cards are automatically REAL ID-compliant with or without the star because they already meet the high security standards of the REAL ID Act. Some people have EDLs without the star because they got it before Michigan started issuing REAL IDs in 2017. EDLs without a star will automatically be printed with one the next time they are renewed or replaced. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, TSA agents at airports will recognize EDLs as valid REAL ID documents, even without the star.