DPS submits plan for Federal Real ID Act

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, April 23, 2019

To The Leader


The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that keeps Texas compliant with REAL ID laws.

All Texas Driver License Cards and Identification Cards are currently acceptable to use for REAL ID purposes, such as getting into federal buildings and for use to board domestic flights. It is expected that all documents now issued will remain acceptable until October 1, 2020.

The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress after 9/11 that establishes specific federal requirements for state-issued driver license and identity cards to be accepted for certain federal purposes, like entering a federal building or boarding a domestic flight. Although it was passed in 2005, it will not fully go into effect until 2020.

Texas residents will be able to come to a DPS Driver License office with proof of identity, state residency, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. and obtain a REAL ID license or ID card when DPS begins producing the new REAL ID documents on October 10, 2016.

Under the plan submitted to DHS, DPS will issue REAL ID compliant Driver License and Identification cards: REAL ID DL and ID cards – These cards will be marked with a star and can be used as the sole ID for domestic flights and to access federal buildings. Texans can continue to use their standard licenses until they expire or until October 1, 2020; whichever comes first. Texans can come into any DPS office to get REAL ID licenses before their current licenses expire. If not already on file, Texans will need to present proof of identity, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S., and state residency to obtain REAL ID-compliant cards.

The cost will be the same as the current cost for a Driver License or Identification Card.

Texas residents holding a non-compliant card after October 1, 2020, will not be able to board domestic flights or access federal buildings without secondary proof of identification approved by DHS.