U.S. Homeland Security Dept.: Michigan complies fully with federal REAL ID law


All licenses, ID cards accepted for all purposes until Oct. 1, 2020

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officially confirmed this week that Michigan fully complies with the federal REAL ID Act.

The state’s full compliance status means all Michigan driver’s licenses and ID cards will be accepted until Oct. 1, 2020, to board domestic flights, or enter federal buildings, nuclear plants or military bases.

On Oct. 1, 2020, Michigan residents will need REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or ID cards or another accepted identification document to board flights or enter federal sites.

Michigan Driver's License - REAL ID-Compliant

Above:  REAL ID-compliant driver's license.

Michigan Driver's License REAL ID Non-Compliant

Above:  Standard driver's license is not REAL ID-compliant.

“To help people avoid the headache and cost of getting another approved ID document just to fly for business or to visit loved ones, we now offer Michigan residents a REAL ID-compliant license and ID card,” Johnson said. “We still have a standard license for all other identification purposes for residents who don’t want one when they renew.”

Compliant cards are marked with a star inside a gold circle on the upper right. There is no extra fee for a REAL ID-compliant card unless people apply for one outside of their normal renewal cycle. The cards do not contain Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.

To obtain a compliant card, residents will need to bring a certified birth certificate or another legal-presence document to any Secretary of State office. People whose names have changed since birth also must bring in name-change documents, such as a marriage license or court order along with their birth certificate. Residents who have a valid passport with their current name may bring that in instead of a birth certificate and name-change document.

People who do not apply for a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card when they renew will receive a standard one with “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” printed on it. Having a noncompliant card does not affect a Michigan resident’s ability to vote, drive, purchase firearms, buy age-restricted items or apply for federal benefits.

Michgian Enhanced Driver's License

Above:  Enhanced driver's license is REAL ID-compliant.

In addition to the standard and REAL ID-compliant cards, Michigan also issues enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards, which are marked with a U.S. flag, and allow land or sea travel from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and Caribbean nations. These cards already comply with the REAL ID law so enhanced card-holders do not need to apply for a different card.

Since Michigan began issuing REAL ID-compliant cards on Aug. 28, more than 334,000 residents have obtained one. More than 927,000 enhanced licenses and ID cards have been issued since being introduced a decade ago, meaning nearly 1.3 million residents already have some form of REAL ID-compliant state-issued identification.

The federal REAL ID standards for driver’s licenses and ID cards were created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. The law sets document and security standards for the production and issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards, including the use of features to prevent illegal copying or altering. It also helps protect against fraud and misuse by requiring people to verify their identity, residency, Social Security number, and citizenship or legal presence when applying for a license or ID card.

Visit www.Michigan.gov/REALID for more information.

NOTE:  An informational video about REAL ID can be viewed online. We encourage news organizations and Michigan residents to share the video and information about REAL ID via social media.


For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams at 517-373-2520.

Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak
to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).