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Driver Licensing > REAL ID> Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: REAL ID compliant identification will be issued starting on January 3, 2017.

What is REAL ID?

When will REAL ID compliant identification be available in New Hampshire?

What is the difference between REAL lD compliant and non-compliant identification?

Will my current identification work for air travel or access to federal facilities?

Am I required to get a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

When should I get my REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card if I want one?

What if I do not want a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

What do I need to do to get a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

May I still have my photograph and Social Security Number removed from DMV records if I choose to get REAL ID compliant identification?

Will REAL ID compliant identification cost more?

Where do I go to get a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

Where may I obtain additional information regarding REAL ID?

What is REAL ID?back to top

Congress enacted the REAL ID Act in 2005. The act created minimum security standards for types of identification and prohibited federal agencies, such as the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), from accepting forms of identification that do not meet the new standard. A REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card has to meet these standards in order to be used for federal identification purposes.

back to topWhen will REAL ID compliant identification be available in New Hampshire?

REAL ID Driver Licenses and Non-Driver Identification Cards will be available starting January 3, 2017.

back to topWhat is the difference between REAL lD compliant and non-compliant identification?

There are two major differences between REAL ID compliant and non-compliant identification:

  1. Physical Appearance
    • REAL ID compliant identification (Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card) will be indicated by a gold star symbol in the upper right hand corner.
    • Non-compliant identification will state "Not For Federal Identification"
  2. Usage
    • After October 1, 2020, non-compliant identification (Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card) will not be accepted for federal purposes such as air travel or access to federal facilities.

back to topWill my current identification work for air travel or access to federal facilities?

Yes, until October 1, 2020, your current identification will continue to be accepted for federal purposes. After October 1, 2020, your identification will need to be REAL ID compliant in order to be used for federal purposes such as air travel or access to federal facilities.

back to topAm I required to get a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

No. Receiving a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card is a choice, not a requirement.

back to topWhen should I get my REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card if I want one?

Requesting a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card should be done at the time of your regular renewal. Because your current identification may be used for federal purposes until October 1, 2020, there is no need to come in early to do this.

back to topWhat if I do not want a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

There are several forms of identification that can be used for federal identification purposes, including a valid Passport. A list of federally acceptable ID types for air travel are listed with the Transportation Safety Administration.

back to topWhat do I need to do to get a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

Application for an initial REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card must be done in person. You will need to gather several documents to bring with you to the DMV. Please see our list of required documentationAdobe Acrobat Reader Symbolfor a REAL ID compliant or Non-Driver Identification Card.

back to topMay I still have my photograph and Social Security Number removed from DMV records if I choose to get REAL ID compliant identification?

No. Part of the requirements of REAL ID is that your photograph and Social Security number are retained by the NH DMV. If you wish to have them removed from our records as allowed by NH law, you will not be able to choose to receive a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card.

back to topWill REAL ID compliant identification cost more

No, there is no additional cost for a REAL ID compliant Driver License and Non-Driver Identification Card.

back to topWhere do I go to get a REAL ID compliant Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card?

Your initial application for a REAL ID Driver License or Non-Driver Identification Card must be done in person at any of our DMV offices at your next renewal after January 2, 2017. Subsequent renewals may be done online.

Where may I obtain additional information regarding REAL ID?back to top

You may obtain additional information by visiting the US Department of Homeland Security FAQs webpage.

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New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles | 23 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH 03305
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